Gettin' Square is simply an excellent example of Australian cinema at its best, and one of the greatest examples of combining themes of crime and comedy into a single film and creating a fine film in the process.
Gettin' Square takes elements of two types of cinema Australia great at: Australian Comedy and crime cinema. Australian cinema boasts some excellent crime films with movies such as Two Hands and Animal Kingdom receiving massive critical acclaim in Australia and even wider, with the latter in particular for its Academy Award nominated performance by Jacki Weaver. Gettin' Square has the same qualities of Animal Kingdom, but it substitutes a haunting intensity for a light touch of comedy. And like Animal Kingfdom, it features an Academy Award caliber performance.
The story has a lot of characters to deal with, and it constantly goes back and forth through so many of them and sucks the viewers interest into them that soon enough they forget about the other characters in the story. It chronicles three characters attempting to get square after a life of crime, and all three characters are interesting figures with interesting paths in life which earn deservingly well actors to bring them to life. And to keep the characters mobile is a very strong script.
The script in Gettin' Square is excellent because it captures practically every element of actual Australian dialogue in terms of all the minor mannerisms of language and physicality and the more major ones. The language seems far from generic, it seems genuine. And it educates unfamiliar viewers on how Australians really speak as well as reminding Australians how certain language elements sound laughable when combined with a real Australian accent. Getting' Square is a trip through the Australian language, and it's an honest and hilarious one since the script is packed with plenty of humour. And combine that with great characters and a fine cast, and you have some of the finest elements of Australia's best crime comedy in existence. While it's a film which Australian audiences are more likely to appreciate the humour in, international viewers can still appreciate its meaningful drama and light touch of comedy.
Plus, it has plenty of really fine cinematography which is edited at aa good pace, and the soundtrack is really gentle and features some good songs. But on top of it all is a talented cast and an unforgettable performance by David Wenham.
David Wenham gives one of the finest performances Australian cinema has ever seen, and surely the funniest performance by an Australian actor ever on film. See, David Wenham absolutely perfects the role of John "Spit" Spitieri because he captures the stereotypical Bogan persona with all the hardcore stereotypical Australian elements, and in the process he captures the characterization of a typical dirty Aussie druggie. He's the perfect visual depiction of an Australian low-life, and he plays the character perfectly to a comedic and dramatic extent which is so far away from the handsome and charming figure that David Wenham actually is that it's a performance deserving of an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting actor. Good thing it at least won every major Australian acting award, because his mix of physicality, voice articulation and line delivery is immaculate.
Sam Worthington also proves what makes him a good actor in one of his earliest efforts from before he became an internationally recognized actor for his work in films such as Clash of the Titans or more notably in Avatar. He gives a lot of compelling effort into the lead role and proves that he has a strong talent for more character driven works.
Timothy Spall also earns the title of an honourary Aussie for his work in Gettin' Square which simply pays credibility to the film thanks to his talents in terms of line delivery and intense facial expressions. Even though he's an English actor, he has all the talent and charm of the surrounding actors.
Occasionally the pacing slows down and it goes through extensive periods of the film's simple theoretical dialogue with not much stimulation, but nevertheless Gettin' Square is a well scripted crime caper benefitting from Jonathan Teplitzky's stylish direction and an incredible performance from David Wenham.