Saturday, 18 July 2015

Gallipoli (1981)






Mark Lee, Mel Gibson, David Argue, Bill Kerr, Robert Grubb, Tim McKenzie, Harold Hopkins, Charles Lathalu Yupingli, Heath Harris, Bill Hunter


Australian sprinters Archy Hamilton (Mark Lee) and Frank Dunne (Mel Gibson) face the brutal realities of war when they join the Australian army and they are sent to fight in the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey during World War I.


Slow paced, Gallipoli is a brilliant, impressive, powerful, deep, moving and underrated film about friendship between two young men, that highlights the foolishness, unfairness and uselessness of war.

Peter Weir directed and wrote a piece of art, and even though there is not much of a story, and barely something happens, the film perfectly manages to engage the audience. I do really appreciate his choice of taking most of the time to develop the characters, establishing a strong, and solid friendship between the main characters, and not losing time with pointless explosions or special effects as other directors would have.

The film immerses us in human loss more deeply than recent films like "Saving Private Ryan", and it is stunning from beginning to end, opening with the wonderful repartee between Archy and his uncle Jack, and closing with Archy repeating those same lines, as he is aware of his fate. The ending is one of the best in cinema history: as the drama occurs, Weir ends the film right there, leaving us with a stunning, yet heartbreaking final shot.

The stunning cinematography by Russell Boyd, and the musical score contribute to the creation of this Australian gem as well.

The very young Mel Gibson is very convincing as Frank Dunne, and gives a beautiful performance. Mark Lee does a great job as Archy Hamilton and the chemistry between Gibson and him is amazing. Great performances also come from supporting actors Bill Hunter and Bill Kerr.

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