Australia: A Baz Luhrmann Film
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Last night I went to see Australia, the film that has been the advertising giant of all films for the past six months.

I must admit, that whilst I was getting really excited about watching the film — I was a bit worried. Worried that for the film that is supposed to be one of the best, biggest and most important films Australia has ever developed, with all of the hype advertisement for it, that it would be a bitter disappointment. Even Opera Winfrey made a huge fuss over it. The movie was setting itself up for failure.

Personally, I am really annoyed that for the supposed best film of Australia, that Opera Winfrey and her audience in America were the ones to see it first. It should be Australians who get the début show — not wealthy respected Americans. Even Nicole Kidman, one of the Australian stars of the film hadn't seen the movie before Opera and her audience.

So hearing from critics in many magazines, the film was claimed to be way too long, with a very boring beginning and slow-paced first two hours. Also claimed was that it had "an air of disappointment", being good, but not as good as it was hyped to be.

But for heaven's sake, how could the critics have been so wrong! The beginning was hardly slow-paced — it got to the point very quickly, setting the scene up for the whole film, and being cleverly humorous at that. Not even 45 minutes into the film are we already captivated and filled with panic and sorrow. I even gasped at constant moments in the film, dreading the fears of what was going to happen.

Luhrmann had portrayed the Aboriginal culture magnificently — showing the past, the modern and the traumas of the in-between. You even stop in awe of the magic of Nullah and King George. Actually, Brandon Walters was amazing. He really showed a genuine portrayal of an Aboriginal child, with the identity struggle of having a "creamy" skin tone and "not belonging".

Australia, is really a must-see film of the century, and I could watch it over and over. I can't believe how far from the truth that the critics were in their reviews. This film is simply magnificent.

~ James Kanjo


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