I do love a good Australian movie. That’s what this week’s ‘Film Friday‘ is all about! So strap yourselves in for a wild ride full of Aussie colloquialism’s and great Aussie actors.
Beware though, there be spoilers ahead!
The Castle (1997). It’s about a Melbourne family who are quite happy living next door to Melbourne Airport. It stars Michael Caton as Darryl Kerrigan, Anne Tenney as Sal Kerrigan, Stephen Curry as Dale Kerrigan, Anthony Simcoe as Steve Kerrigan, Sophie Lee as Tracey Kerrigan, Wayne Hope as Wayne Kerrigan, and Eric Bana as Con Petropoulous.
The story follows the Kerrigan family as they approached by the airport to sell their house and the land it sits on. The rest of the streets residents are likewise approached, but a group of them band together with the Kerrigan’s to keep their houses. The airport turn to legal action, which would force the residents from their homes. Darryl Kerrigan takes the matter all the way to the High Court, citing that a “man’s house is his castle”.
I grew up watching this movie, and I’ve always loved it. It’s hilarious and original and completely and utterly Australian; thankfully without being stupidly stereotypical. The characters are brilliant, and while over the top, they still represent a fairly average family. They might not be the smartest people in the world, but they care about each other, and fight for what’s right.
The movie is quotable back to front. I know I’ve said this for a number of films on this list (such as the previous Aussie film ‘The Dish’), but it’s true. The dialogue is inspired – relatively simple, but effective in it’s aims; to get you to like the characters and to get you to laugh. It is after all a comedy.
The entire story is a ‘David vs. Goliath‘ fight. The everyday folk up against the ruthless developers. Darryl isn’t satisfied with being told there’s nothing he can do to stop the developers from taking their homes. He takes the matter higher, and fights until there’s nothing left. And he wins. I suppose a lot of people would say in that respect it’s a pretty Australian story. But underdog stories aren’t uniquely Australian, we just like to think that we value them more than other countries.
Darryl Kerrigan: Now here back: all landfill. Not allowed to build there.
Council Officer: Has the soil been tested?
Darryl Kerrigan: Oh yeah, nothing too serious in there… what do you know about Lead?
Dale Kerrigan: Dad reckons fishing is 10% brains and 95% muscle, the rest is just good luck.
Dale Kerrigan: If there’s anything Dad loved more than serenity, it was a big two stroke engine on full throttle!
Farouk: He say plane fly overhead, drop value. I don’t care. In Beirut, plane fly over, drop bomb. I like these planes.
Federal Court Judge: And what Law are you basing this argument on?
Darryl Kerrigan: The Law of bloody common sense!
Next week will be starting a three week series for the Lord of the Rings films, which I’ll actually be marathoning with my older sister next Friday.