Ok, so let's catch a movie tomorrow evening. Me, you aur the rest of the gang. Where? Which one? Ok, let me know the numbers, tickets will be booked online. Amidst the "I am a huge fan of Hugh Jackman" chant by Suvo, a few calls, some answered some unanswered...we were set for the evening for A-U-S-T-R-A-L-I-A at IMAX.
Baz Lurhman, the man I adore for the suncreen song loves his work to be magnum opus. Lady Ashley (Nicole Kidman) is a an Amazon of an Australian and so is Drover (Hugh Jackman). Beautiful people can carry off average stuff . The show stealer is Nullah, the Aborigine delight.
With his grandpa King George, he sings, narrates, warns, foretells, guides, and saves Oz from calamity, saves a frenzied herd of cattle from jumping to their deaths. Subtle racist bearings come to the fore. Nullah has to keep quiet lest his White father, Fletcher beat his mother. Drover lost his ‘Black’ wife to TB because she was black. The yellow race of the Japs is the alien invading intruder. It is a historic moment when Nullah’s uncle enters ‘The Territory’ for the poor man’s whiskey. It is another undoing when he is about to be served in an ugly water mug. The
The camera work is breathtaking, panning across the landscape. The underwater scenes, the maddening rush of the cattle reminded one of the famous bloody battle of might on National Geographic. Lady Ashley is delightful with her stiff British mannerisms, you do lend your empathy when her suitcase goes wham on the bloke’s head and her lingerie fly everywhere, almost a sense of violation. An English lady’s house will have tea always and her garden lined with rose bushes. She made a small
Fletcher’s mercenary instincts are apparent especially when he takes supreme sadistic pleasure in strangling a fly. Suvo interjected, don’t cry “It’s only a fly”. He’d go to any extent to be the King of the Beef industry, killed Lord Ashley, fed King Carney to a hungry crocodile and married his daughter. His menacing croc leather shoes tell you the remnants of the tale.
There are warm moments when Drover implores Lady Ashley to talk to lil’ Nullah when he loses his mother in a tragic accident. Her condolences are lost in the import of spreading newspapers so that her fragile skin does not touch rough earth. It’s funny and heartwarming given the sincerity of the effort. She sings and tells a story. Folktales, lore and music are a part of life. A loving warm relationship forms, almost mother-son like, each singing to the other. The climax is so Bollywood- lot of fight, the lovers unite, the lost seeketh the found, the righteous emerge and Fletcher dies like a maggot, pierced.
King George is the real victor. Western civilization comes to terms with the Aborigine law of going away to come back to be the sentinels of a fierce race.
Nullah will come back and say- “I sing you to me”. You can dream and talk to the moon.