Thursday, 18 May 2017

May 18 2017:  
Don't Tell
The Viceroy's house
King Arthur

This week we are lucky to have a strong new Australian film, with a highly relevant theme, along with a visually wonderful retelling of the true story of the last days of British rule in India. Possibly not so lucky to have yet another retelling of the King Arthur legend. 

Don't Tell
Director: Tori Garrett
Length: 108 min
© Nixco - Sarah West gives an intense 
performance in an important film
Eleven year old Lyndal was a student at the Anglican-run Toowoomba Prep School in 1990 when house-master Kevin Guy began sexually abusing her and other girls. Just as Guy was due to face court he committed suicide, and the case was buried. Ten years later, lawyer Stephen Roche took up Lyndal's cause, and it is this landmark case that is considered the catalyst for the resulting Royal Commission into Sexual Abuse. This taut and probing courtroom drama is beautifully made, and deals with a confronting subject in a non-sensational, but gripping fashion. It sports a top-notch cast, including Jack Thompson, Aden Young, Rachel Griffiths, Suzy Porter and Guyton Grantley as the creepy pedophile teacher. Top accolades go to Sara West as Lyndal, who embodies the damaged, angry, confused young woman who has never had a chance to tell her story and get justice. Employing a mix of flashback, present day developments, and courtroom scenes, the film is enhanced with a superbly haunting score. Feeling more personal than Spotlight, which dealt with similar issues, Don't Tell is an important film examining the collective guilt of the higher ups in organisations purporting to be looking after our young people.   
4 - wholeheartedly recommended! 

The Viceroy's House
Director: Gurinder Chadha
Length: 106 min
© Transmission- Pomp and circumstance, plus 
a tragic history of Indian Partition
Fresh from the Young at Heart Film Festival, this film now gets a mainstream release. The last Viceroy of India Lord Mountbatten (Hugh Bonneville), was charged with the challenging task of overseeing the handover of the country from the Brits back to the Indians. His personal household, made up of Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs find themselves caught up in a cultural conflict when Partition rips one nation into two. Bonneville and Gillian Anderson are impressive as Lord and Lady Mountbatten. The production values and sets are lavish and authentic and capture an era of pomp, privilege and political machinations. What starts as an interesting slice of historical drama, turns into a moving, personal drama which is at once intimate, and far reaching.
3.5 - highly recommended!

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Director: Guy Ritchie
Length: 106 min

© Warner Bros - much digital work, action and 
confusion in this barely recognisable  version of the 
Arthurian legend. 
What have you done to my legend Guy? I can barely recognise one of my favorite legends (or is it?) in this over-the-top, digital effects-ridden and bloated version of the story. Yes, I acknowledge the desire to make something different and "fresh", as compared to the earlier  more traditional (much better) films like Excalibur and King Arthur. But in depicting his Arthur as a Cockney-speaking street kid, and mixing in some nonsensical battle scenes with giant elephants and glowing monsters, Ritchie turns the whole thing  into a mash-up of genres. It has overtones of Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, along with Lord of the Rings, but seldom, if ever, does it  even resemble the revered story I know and love. Good grief - Merlin doesn't even get a look-in, replaced by an odd girl who is his emissary. Jude Law is suitably horrid as the evil King Vortigern, and Charlie Hunnam does an ok job of the sort of beefed-up Arthur Ritchie wants, but I think, unless you are a 14-17 year old boy who loves non-stop noise and action, you should give it a miss. (That said, the driving sound track impressed me big time!)
2 - you've got better things to do with your time!

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