Movie: Australia

During the onset of World War II in 1939, Lady Sarah Ashley(Nicole Kidman) flies from England to Australia to bring back her husband after selling their property named Faraway Downs in Australia. Her husband has already spent a long time raising cattle in this property without any returns.

Sarah arrives in the city of Darwin and meets Drover(Hugh Jackman), an acquaintance of her husband. Sarah takes an instant dislike towards Drover. But she has no choice but to travel with him to meet her husband. Sarah reaches Faraway Downs with Drover, Magarri, who is the aboriginal partner of Drover, and Flynn(Jack Thompson), who is the perpetually drunk accountant of Faraway Downs.

On arrival in Faraway Downs, Sarah is shocked to see the dead body of her husband. She is met by Fletcher(David Wenham), the manager of her property. She is informed about her husband’s murder by King George, an aborigine. The police is on the lookout for King George.

Meanwhile, King George’s daughter and grandson, Nullah(Brandon Walters), were employed by Sarah’s late husband. Nullah is an half blood – a mix of white and black. Fearing capture by police and eventual handover to missionaries, Nullah stays hidden from public eye.

After being persuaded by Fletcher, Sarah decides to sell her property to King Carney(Bryan Brown), who have a monopoly in the cattle business in Australia. But, Nullah shows Sarah that Fletcher is lying to her. Fletcher is working for Carney and is planning to marry his daughter. Sarah also finds that Fletcher is the father of Nullah.  He also wants to hide this secret from Carney and also the world.

Sarah then fires Fletcher and persuades Drover to drive the cattle to Darwin for selling them to the army thereby breaking the monopoly of Carney and reviving Faraway Downs. In order to form a team, Drover chooses inexperienced hands from Sarah’s staff along with Sarah and Nullah and leads the cattle to Darwin.

Thus begins the adventure wherein Drover, Sarah and Nullah faces a variety of hurdles while travelling through the rough terrain. The adventure brings three of them closer to form a family. But, they have to conquer fear to come close as a family. The rest of the story traces their life until 1945 when Japanese forces attack the city of Darwin.

Baz Luhrmann directs this movie with a running time of 2 hours 35 minutes. He builds the story with the cattle drive and then slowly changes the focus to the life of the three people after the cattle drive. At this point, the movie falters a bit. He has chosen the backdrop of World War II and the pathos of the Stolen Generations to tell the story. This enhances the drama. In this movie too, Baz adopts the same technique used in his previous movie, Moulin Rouge, where he swoops in the camera to put the audience in the middle of the scene close to the performers and then he swoops out the camera to take them away from the scene. This technique heightens the drama in some scenes and sense of adventure during the cattle drive sequences. Baz relies extensively on CG throughout the movie. Although the CG scenes are obvious, it also helps us to fuel the audience’s imagination.

This is primarily a director’s movie and so, the performance are dwarfed by the visual imagery.

Go for it to see an old fashioned romance.

Genre: Romance

Rating: ***

Picture Courtesy: Yahoo! Movies

Tags: Movies,Nicole Kidman,Hugh Jackman,Jack Thompson,David Wenham,Brandon Walters,Bryan Brown,Baz Luhrmann,Romance


  1. i saw the movie in the theater, for Nicole Kidman. But the movie was a big let down. I would give it 1.5 stars it if you have nothing better to do, not even blogs to read. :)

  2. I loved the movie to bits, everything from the romance between the missus boss and the cattle hearder, to the little boy who sang mgic to the land so beautiful, I just was in awe of it all. It was an epic to me! You have an award on my page Nona

  3. I have not seen the movie though Sujata recommended it highly.
    My husband is not into mush and only watches blood, gore, gun fights and car chases.I think he is intellectually challenged. As I hate to see movies alone, I am waiting for my daughter to grow up a bit. We plan to see all the mushy movies together.

  4. @ZB - I heard negative reviews about the movie when it got released. But, I found it enjoyable. There were moments when the movie dragged a bit. But overall, it was enjoyable.

    @Sujata - The romance reminded me of the black and white movies. :)

    Thank you for the award.

    @Aparna- If you are referring to the Godfather, I will not classify it as violent movie! :) Till your daughter grows up, you can maintain a list of movies to watch and keep adding to it. Enjoy the movie marathon when she is old enough to watch it. :)

  5. I saw this a few months back and I loved it. I didn't have much hopes on this film but it surpassed all expectations! The face of the aboriginal child and his language still linger in my mind.

    The movie forced me to dig a bit more into these 'stolen generations' thing and some of the facts were rather naive. The groups still live a life of their own in the Aussie outbacks totally harmonious with nature. the one agenda I have on my things-to-do-before-I-die is to travel to Uluru or some similar place and see these people for real. :)

  6. I liked Australia movie very much and I have seen it in theatre after coming to Australia. Beautiful acting by Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman.

  7. @ScorpioGenius - What was responsible for the decision to visit these places? The movie or the research?

    @Babli - How did the locals react to this movie?

  8. @ Nona, the movie is one reason, the incredible life in the outbacks I saw through the NatGeo and Discovery documentaries another but most of all an inner thrust to see how much things have changed from what I read in those wiki articles and related journals..


Post a Comment