Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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An important Australian film. A wonderful cast directed beautifully by Bruce Beresford.
Glorifies a war criminal who's own Australian men denounced him and is largely responsible for a ridiculous campaign to turn said criminal into some sort of hero. However it is an excellently made Australian film, as long as it is not taken as historically accurate.
One of the greatest Australian dramas ever made, in fact one of the best courtroom dramas of all-time. Superb performances all round in particular Bryan Brown and Jack Thompson who are stand-outs.
During the second Boer War, three Australian commandos engaged tasked with fighting Boer raiding parties on their own terms are charged with illegally executing prisoners. A Australian attorney with no courtroom experience is tasked with defending them. They allege that it was an order passed down from British command that they were not to keep prisoners since it interfered with their ability to effectively fight the Boers, but the British army denies the order was ever issued. This adaptation of a play based on an actual case tackles some complex issues. The Australian soldiers are clearly being used as sacrificial lambs to speed up peace negotiations, but they also never deny that the executions took place. Their defense that they are engaged in a new type of warfare (the first combat of the 20th century) is persuasive, but it's also clear that the most senior of the three, Edward Woodward in typically fine form, is highly motivated by seeking revenge for the death of their commanding officer at the hands of the Boers. Bruce Beresford was already a veteran of the Australian film industry having started out by directing the Barry MacKenzie films, but this was the film that really brought him to international audiences.
I wonder if Rob Reiner saw Breaker Morant before making A Few Good Men, because there were some stylistic things in this film from 1980 that I can connect directly to Reiner’s film from the early 90s (not to mention more than a few plot similarities as well.) So I was ready to enjoy Breaker Morant a lot. However there were some details of the story that didn’t work for me in this film. The actions of the titular character did come across as somewhat malicious at times and, even though they came in with some explanation in the court proceedings, I didn’t see them all as justified. Luckily, Edward Woodward plays him with some charisma so I found myself wanting to forgive him anyways. I love movies about court cases, and there were a few powerful scenes in Breaker Morant that gave me the kind of stuff I like to see in a courtroom drama. But there were also a number of moments where it felt like the lawyers were jumping to conclusions, and I was surprised that they were allowed to treat some of these things as facts. I also found that the case lacked a few big moments where we see why the final verdict went that way. I guess most of the impetus for the ruling was based on things happening outside of the courtroom, but I kind of wanted to see that so I could put the pieces together without a character having to explain it to me. That being said, I still found Breaker Morant to be a powerful film with some great acting and an emotional ending. I would gladly it watch again. Ranking on my Flickchart Wins against Mad Max: Fury Road Loses to The Lady Eve Loses to Win Win Wins against A Shot in the Dark Loses to Born on the Fourth of July Loses to My Man Godfrey Loses to The Verdict Loses to The Help Loses to Monsters University Wins against Black Swan Loses to Jerry Maguire Breaker Morant ranked 677 out of 1559
Bruce Beresford's disquietingly thoughtful military courtroom drama that centers on a trial of humanity during the Boer War and the human cost of three Australians for the British empire building.
Classic Australian film
Cracking anti-war movie. Gripping, compelling and uncompromising.
Saw this on 26/6/16
A true story based antiwar film that has some terrific dialogue and a good performance from actor Jack Thompson.
A bit old style but the story is harsh and well told. The englishes still comes up on top after the war so all is well for the owners of the planet! I would never call soldiers hero unless they never killed and saved some lives. When does that ever happens? Two on trials were certainly villains. War is villains against villains. Except maybe in America, where the villains were the englishes and the Iroquois.