Bran Nue Dae (2010)
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Critic Reviews for Bran Nue Dae
You have to wonder about the film's almost complete portrayal of Aborigines as dim-witted dunderers, dancing fools, thieves and drunks. Whites fare no better. Does the film explode stereotypes, or reinforce them?
The bright colors and vibrant backgrounds ... go a long way in distracting from shortcomings in the story and style of this offhand hybrid.
Bran Nue Dae is an infectiously joyful Australian Aboriginal musical.
Soon, whenever someone launches into a song, you roll your eyes and hope the tune is a short one.
Audience Reviews for Bran Nue Dae
Charmingly Aussie comedy-musical film - thanks to the energy of the music and dance sequences, the colourful vibrancy of Andrew Lesnie's cinematography and the ebullience of the multi-racial cast.
Director Rachel Perkins was old on the idea upon seeing the play in the early '90s, and more than a decade later has worked with Jimmy Chi to bring it to the big screen. And what a fine job she's done.
As an Aborigine, Perkin's affinity with the material is clear, and her heritage provides her with more creative leeway than a non-indigenous director may have enjoyed. For while issues such as death in custody are subtly addressed, so too are stereotypes such as binge drinking in indigenous communities, but in a far more playful fashion than we're used to.
Ostensibly, though, such issues play second fiddle to what is essentially a coming-of-age road movie, as teenager Willie attempts to make his way home to Broome from Perth after fleeing his Catholic school. At first glance, a homegrown musical featuring an Australian idol (Jessica Mauboy), a Triple J darling (Missy Higgins) and an unknown (Rocky McKenzie) may not appeal, but all acquit themselves well. Geoffrey Rush has fun as the frightfully Teutonic Father Benedictus, lending the film both credibility and quality, while Ernie Dingo's reprisal of his stage role as Uncle Tadpole is the work of a man both very familiar with, and fond of, the source material. Cameos from Deborah Mailman and Magda Szubanski are fun, frivolous and, therefore, in keeping with the overall feel of the film.
i actually yelled at the screen in this: "what a load!!!!" i apologise for the over-reaction, but i found this to be almost as insulting as "the triumph of the will" (but certainly no less over-the-top propaganda) and perhaps insidiously akin to pat boone's "innocent" version of "tutti frutti". unfortunately i fear that i am alone in recognition of the overwhelming yet underlining hate in evidence here.
My thoughts on this are very mixed. I enjoyed parts of it, but some just fell flat for me. One thing is for sure, Geoffrey Rush gave an incredibly hilarious performance!
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