fantastic cinematic telling of a heart wrenching moment in history
more recently Mr Jeremy Irons narrated and produced a doc series on the subject
not that this helps with my Brit accent but hey its a great film
Lush, fascinating, rapturous, lyrical and still presents the war as the horribly wretched thing it is.
A worthy effort.
4 out of 5
Saw this on 6/2/15
It has a terrific BGM and even though there are far better anti-war films, Gallipoli is remarkable for it's natural performances and a general nostalgia it invokes about the life in the past without any trace of wars.
It is mid-1915. War is raging in Europe and Australian forces have landed in Gallipoli, Turkey. Two friends from Western Australia join up but nothing can prepare them for the horrors that await them in Gallipoli...
An excellent study of World War 1, from Australia's point-of-view. Shows well the camaraderie of men in a fighting unit and the larrikinism of the average Australian soldier. Shows too the futility and wastefulness of war, the folly and incompetence of high command and the horrors that make war distinctly unglamourous.
Great work from Mel Gibson (in one of his earliest roles) and Mark Lee in the lead roles. Bill Hunter also appears, and puts in a solid performance, as Major Barton.
There will be issues for those who might interpret the final battle strategy as fact-rather-than-fiction, but I can understand WHY Williamson and Weir used poetic license. Despite the fact that FAR more Brits (and French, and of course Turks) died on the Gallipoli peninsula than Aussies - the film is as much about Australia developing its own identity by distinguishing itself from Mother England (in 1915 AND 1981) as it was about the battle itself. But the film didn't need to set up the clueless, snobby poms as the bad guys in that final act to have an impact. The pointlessness of the war, the tragic stupidity of the whole thing is apparent just from the visuals of the older teenagers and young men getting mowed down like cannon fodder.
As is apparent from the LONG lead up to the third act/war scenes, this film, while it might be seen through the prism of war, is really about the Australian identity as defined through mateship. The naive idealism of Archie balanced by the cocky pragmatism of Frank. But also the larrikin nature of Frank's three mates. Sensational perfs across the board, but with Gibson leaking charisma over the rest of them. The tale spans the globe, and feels epic, in a way. It is stunningly lensed, with verisimilitude dripping from every shot. I never felt once that I wasn't alongside these boys in the Australian desert, on in those Cairo fleapits, or those trenches in Turkey. Some staggering shots, and some intimate ones too. It feels epic, but it's not, not really. It basically boils down to a friendship between two very young men. And their journey to, and within, a very tragic, very sad war.
"Springs. Steel springs."
"What are they gonna do?"
"They're gonna hurl me down the track."
"How fast can you run?"
"As fast as a leopard."
"How fast ARE you gonna run?"
As FAST AS A LEOPARD!"
"Then LETS SEE YOU DO IT!"
And so begins Gallipoli. A heartbreaking drama that in its first half, introduces us to its characters. And in its second half, introduces us to the horrors of war. Specifically, the doomed Battle of the Nek. The final shot is one of the most devastating ever to be captured in cinematic history.
Janet Maslin, New York Times