Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Proposition

I've read what seemed like a hundred Louis L'amour novels when I was growing up. I loved the rules of the wild west. The good were good. The bad were bad. Yes, there were some loners but it was typically a white hat/black hat story.
This is nothing like that.
This is a gritty, no holds-barred look at the an Australian outback in the 1880's that is wilder than the wild west. Replace Native Americans with Aborigines, Americans with Brits and Kid Curry with the Burns brothers gang.
The Burns brothers are on the run. Charlie and Mikey Burns have been captured. Charlie is given a deal to kill his older, more violent and notorious, brother by Christmas and spare their lives. The story follows him as he navigates the outback in search of his brother.
The story starts with a violent shootout that sets the stage for living the life of an outlaw being hunted by authorities who want to "tame the land". The violence is short but extreme, much the way it was. Most people don't realize that the gunfight at the Ok Corral only lasted 30 seconds. There is no need for extended and graphic gunplay when the story itself is fascinating, the way it should be.
I love movies that allow you to use your own imagination to fill out a bigger narrative. Movies that don't hit you over the head with a narrator or flashbacks or the montage. The dialogue here does just enough to make an 1:40 feel like a 3 hour epic.
Many stories overlap, the struggle between law and outlaw, trying to establish some British high-class in a rough and violent land, brotherly love and a man tired of running, justice vs town martial law, the list goes on.
Overall a fascinating story, unique music and a glimpse into a time we'll never know.

Best line: "Why can't you ever just...stop me?" - Arthur Burns.

What a loaded line, Arthur knows he is a beast, a ravaging psychopath who thrills in violence, and just wants his brother draw the line for him. For him, there is no white or gray, just black.

Rating: BA. Not many movies can accomplish this.

1 comment:

Der Fanatiker said...

Great job buddy. Welcome to the site.