Walkabout - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Walkabout Reviews

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August 7, 2017
Perhaps Roeg's best film. A rich and mysterious meditation on communication, as well as the social barriers that divide and entrap us
½ June 19, 2017
A classic Australian film.
June 9, 2017
Nicolas Roeg's 'Walkabout' is a film bursting with beautiful imagery in every frame. It is perhaps one of the first (and certainly most memorable) movies to use the barren Aussie outback as a backdrop for it's journey of an adolescent girl and her younger brother who are lost and receive help from an Aborigine man on his own, personal 'walkabout'. Cultural complications arise when the man falls in love with the girl (who is anxious to return to her home in the suburbs).
January 15, 2017
Beautifully shot and thought provoking, this movie deals with civilization vs nature issue. Nicholas Roeg is a master of creation of esoteric yet quite graphic visuals and ambience.
January 13, 2017
I do find much to like and admire in Nicolas Roeg's Walkabout but, for me, it also has quite a few issues that are jarring and grate. It is the story of an unnamed, teenage girl, Jenny Agutter and her younger brother, Lucien John (Luc Roeg) who are lost in the Australian outback. They are helped by a young, aboriginal boy, David Gumpilil, who shows them how to survive and find food. The story is good but there's a bit too much labouring symbolism about wakening sexuality and the cruelty of nature that frankly, becomes a wee bit tedious. After you've seen a few scenes of swarming insects and speared goannas the point has been made and more of the same becomes unnecessary. Having said that, the beauty and starkness of the Australian scenery is given plenty of scope and becomes almost a character in itself. This is one of the most pleasing and rewarding aspects of this film and makes it worth watching.
½ July 8, 2016
A timeless film that handles topics of love, family, tolerance, prejudice, coming of age, and violence in a way that it should be made mandatory for all students (junior high level would get the most out of it, but there is much for younger and older children as well). At the heart is the relationship between a young boy (the director's son) and a teenage girl (Jenny Agutter) who had been shielded from the harsher aspects of life, but through a consequence of events must explore the world eyes opened and unprotected. The love between brother and sister (and the parental responsibilities of the sister toward the brother) will touch your heart. If you have a sibling (especially a younger brother-older sister relationship) this film is a must see. There are also scenes of violence against animals that can be disturbing but they are presented to introduce such facts of life to the audience. Since it would be impossible to shield such acts in other films or TV, this film is excellent to introduce discussion. This film is on my list of must-see movies. It contains breathtaking cinematography. The subject matter of the movie forces us to confront differences between the modern world and the primitive world; yet it underscores similarities between the two cultures. There are also some very nice techniques used in this film - for example the screen wipes used as the small boy relates a story to the older boy. A thought provoking film shot from, and that looks at the world from, a perspective that is rarely seen in cinema. It's good enough that I'd seriously consider it to be included on a short list of films that I'd be allowed to have if stranded on a desert island.
June 19, 2016
Beautiful, mysterious and wonderfully captured
May 30, 2016
I am never watching another Nick Roeg film again.
Super Reviewer
½ April 16, 2016
A walkabout is a ritual in Aboriginal culture where a boy between the ages of 10 to 16 lives off the land alone for up to six months. This explains how the Aborigine boy comes to find the White girl and boy, as these characters do not have names. How the two English siblings ended up in the harsh wilderness of the Australian Outback alone are displayed but why their father experiences a mental breakdown and tries to shoot his son with a gun is unexplained. The Aborigine then leads the two around the Outback, the girl presumes back to "civilization" but the Aborigine seems to enjoy their company too much to return them. In a very unique way, the English boy and girl are on their own walkabout, thrown into the unforgiving terrain of the desert and left to fend for themselves. This is basically the story to Nicholas Roeg's 1971 film "Walkabout."
The Aborigine boy is portrayed by David Gulpilli and at the time of filming the film could not speak English. He lives in a different culture and world where he is percieved as a man. He lives off the fruits, animals and finds water in the land. The White girl is portrayed by Jenny Agutter and the White Boy is portrayed by Roeg's son Luc Roeg. After their father sets their car on fire and then shoots himself, the girl takes it upon herself to lead her and the boy for help. They're trapped in the desert and have no survival skills whatsoever. Luckily the Aborigine knows what to do and he shares his food and water with the two.
This is a contrast story of two very different cultures and Roeg edits scenes in a way to compare and contrast different ideas and cultures.
The Aborigine and the girl have complicated feelings for one another. The girl on the one hand wants to return home, but on the other she doesn't seem to truly trust him or understand his ways. Her younger brother is able to communicate with him through sign language and other means. The Aborigine starts to develop sexual feelings for the girl and he hopes to fornicate and perhaps that's why he never truly leads them to help.
Nicholas Roeg was both cinematographer and director for the film. The film has beautiful compositions and beautiful landscapes full of animals from the Outback.
December 19, 2015
Watch it, one of the best survival movie!
December 19, 2015
Very good, A classic film.
½ November 28, 2015
One of those arthouse films that deserves its title, there aint much story. Just really beautiful shots of desert. It isn't trying to beat you over the head with symbolism its just made to take you on a journey with stunning cinematography
½ July 30, 2015
Nicolas Roeg's true directorial debut is filled with ideas and unique perceptions. A brother and sister escape the insanity of their troubled father to find themselves in the wilds of The Australian Outback. The title of the film comes from The Aboriginal concept of a male's journey to adulthood.

And with the assistance of a young Aboriginal boy in the middle of his "walkabout" -- the siblings journey through adversity and mystery toward their own adulthood.

Along the way cultural differences cause confusion and alarm. It is a film about survival thanks to human kindness. But more than anything it is a startling view of how racism and cultural differences are so engrained, no amount of human kindness can make them go away.

A beautiful and tragic experimental film about both the strengths and flaws of the human condition.
½ July 3, 2015
Majestic and haunting
June 29, 2015
Even those who do not like Walkabout, will still remember it, mainly scenes they didn't fully understand. Granted it is dated and editing and directing skills were hardly used by a master, but the story is the key, it is not literal, more up to you what you feel. Having watched this film for a second time, I am less a fan of the 'white mans human race'.
June 28, 2015
Roeg's solo-directorial debut and the start of his incredible flawless streak of 1970s films. On the surface, this is a film about two English children (Jenny Agutter and Roeg's son Luc) trapped deep in the desert when their father kills himself and the young aborigine (David Gulpilil) who helps them survive. Roeg has a superficial endorsement of nature over civilization at the surface of the film, but there are hints of a Herzogian distrust of nature bubbling beneath the surface. Like all of Roeg's best films, there's an even deeper logic to the film that isn't centered on the characters or the narrative but more on the flow of his incredible imagery. The experiences of the three young characters, framed by a pair of suicides, transform them in ways that make sense, but not exactly on a level you can explain in words.
½ January 25, 2015
A good lost-in-the-bush survival story, but it doesn't really work as a cohesive film with a narrative, as far as I'm concerned. How they get stranded is not fully explained, with the Dad going nuts, but then along comes Gulpilil in his first role to save the two English siblings. He's been in far better films since & the contrast between the Outback and metropolitan Australia has been explored better too. The final 25min are odd and - even allowing for ti being the 70's - it definitely seems pervy in parts, and has a fair bit of nudity for a M-rated movie. Decent effort, but better Aboriginal/Australian bush films have been made since.
½ January 21, 2015
I liked this film. There was a sense of foreboding, though it was subtle, from the beginning. I was somewhat disappointed with the end, but the more I think about it, the more I feel the end of the movie was just the beginning of another story
January 9, 2015
Also maybe my favorite movie.
November 29, 2014
Two English children from Sydney are taken into the Outback for a picnic by their father who then goes mad and tries to shoot them. The oldest daughter runs away with the much younger brother and hides behind a rock while the father shoots himself in the head and the car blows up. The daughter sees this but the boy does not. They run away into the desert and find a water hole where they encounter an Aborigine boy about the same age as the girl. They take a series of adventures in this
harsh landscape unable to communicate with each other, The boy helps them survive and falls for the English girl. A film full of symbolism and messages about colonialism and communication. The tragic ending is heartbreaking. Starring the beautiful and enigmatic Jenny Agutter in an amazingly frank performance. Unforgettably haunting.
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