The Proposition (2005)

This land will be civilized.

Set in the Australian outback in the 1880s, the movie follows the series of events following the horrific rape and murder of the Hopkins family, allegedly committed by the infamous Burns brothers gang. Captain Morris Stanley captures Charlie Burns and gives him 9 days to kill his older dangerous psychopathic brother, or else they'll hang his younger mentally slow brother on Christmas Day.

Well, no matter how I rate this movie a lot of people are going to say that my rating is wrong. That is something that you probably can say about any rating for any movie. I feel it is especially true as far as this movie goes though. As you can see from my rating I was not exactly thrilled by the movie. That does not mean that it is a bad movie. Again, this you can say about a lot of ratings, especially my ratings.
Okay, I guess I have confused everyone enough now so let me try to explain. As a piece of cinematic art this movie is excellent. The acting is quite good. I especially liked John Hurt as the literate bounty hunter but most of the main characters where performing admirably. The scenery is wonderful. The Australian outback makes for a excellent backdrop and it is indeed a nice change from the classical North American western sceneries.
As a movie it falls flat though. In my opinion a movie should at least try to tell a story. Even if it aspires to be a piece of art it should try and tell a story that the audience can, in one way or another, follow. This movie have a basic idea of a story but it does not really tell a story. We never get to know who the bad guys really are, what they really did, except for a bunch of hints about killing and rape, or why. Heck, we never actually get to know of the guy the flogged to death where really taking part in the deed or not.
Throughout the movie the bad guys are supposedly hiding in some place where it is impossible to get them so the main character tries to get the bad guys brother to kill him. Not very plausible at all. The governor, Eden Fletcher played by David Wenham, or whatever he as supposed to be was pretty much an asshole. Okay every movie has to have one but his role was never really developed. Once he managed to get the young kid, innocent or not, flogged we really do not see much of him for the rest of the movie.
The end of the movie is much the same as the rest of the movie. Cinematically excellent but not much of a story. There is no real conclusion. It just ends in a sequence of well done scenes but without any real story behind it.
Maybe I’m a too simple mind when it comes to these kind of movies but I, even though I appreciated the graphics that was shown on my TV-screen, I did not really enjoy it as a movie.

UK Film Council, Surefire Film Productions, Autonomous, Pictures in Paradise, Pacific Film and Television Commission, Film Consortium, National Lottery through UK Film Council by John Hillcoat, Nick Cave.
Stars: Ray Winstone, Guy Pearce, Emily Watson, Richard Wilson.

Genres: Crime, Drama, Western

Keywords: gallows australia psychopath outlaw misanthrophy gang shootout sadist brutality violence hideout retribution flogging whipping sunset aborigine savagery

10/06/2005

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