Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cinema Review - Bran Nue Dae

"It's a bran' new day"

I'll start this review off by saying Bran Nue Dae should not have been a musical. The director, Rachel Perkins, has done a good job with this movie; it's very enjoyable to watch, highly amusing, and looks good. However, it's marketed as a musical, and at this it fails. It also fails at plot, just not as much.

This movie's plot would work well as a comedy, but it doesn't as a musical. In fact, at some points the plot seems to be rushed forward to get to a song, rather than letting songs tell the story. Actually, for a musical, not much of the plot is told through the songs really. The ending to this movie, while completely and utterly trash, is absolutely hilarious. It rushes to get plot points tied up, and does so in such a ridiculous fashion that it's impossible not to laugh. The same can be said for character development. There are at least 5 'plot twists' in the last 10 minutes of the movie and they're all stupid. Yet, they're fun. This movie can't be taken seriously, but it feels like that was intended. That's one of the best things about this movie. I was laughing A LOT at this movie, something that I really don't do that often. I probably haven't laughed so much, or so loudly, at a movie since The Room (directed by Tommy Wiseau). Some of this laughter was from ridiculous plot, but a lot of it was from the humour that Perkins wanted us to feel, and it's definately there!If you're looking for a deep and meaningful plot, go see Up in the Air, not this. Another annoying product of the musical nature of this film is that you can clearly tell the actors from the singers. Missy Higgins in particular puts up an awful performance, and in all honesty doesn't even sing that well, but I'll say more on that later. Ernie Dingo, on the other hand, puts up one of my favourite performances in a movie in a long time. He suits his character perfectly, from the rough shod look, to the off colour humour. It's clear that he's a brilliant actor, as well as his character being extremely well written. Ernie is probably the clearest redeeming factor for this movie.The way the movie looks is not very dissapointing at all. The desert outback is portrayed wonderfully in this movie. Some great shots of the desert and towns are seen, and the camera work is solid. It's not often that I feel engrossed by a set, but for some reason this movie seems exceptionally real, but that could be because I live in Australia and the architecture is more familiar to me. The use of 'shaky-cam', or handhelds, seems out of place in many of the scenes it's employed in, and really throws you out of the movie, destroying any sense of feeling that you were there, but since it's used sparingly, it doesn't infringe too much, and overall it's not a huge detractor. This also goes for some of the more hectic scenes where very fast, jarring camera movements are made, especially in dance scenes, and it feels unreal and out of place.Now to my biggest complaint, the sound in this movie. I've already mentioned that the songs had no real plot significance, and I'm going to say it again. This movie would have been so much better off if it weren't a musical. The songs are all overly digitalised, and don't fit in with the scenes they're in at all. The best example of this is when Missy Higgins is singing in a hippie van. There is no background noise that's distinguishable. Hippie vans are not quiet beasts, and any singing would not be so clear in one. I realise that the singing has to be clear, but there was no feeling that they were actually singing where they were on screen, something that really detracted from the movie, in my opinion. Another horrible by product of the musical nature of this movie is that the lip-synching is pretty awful. Within five minutes of the movie starting, I was thinking that a large majority of the film was dubbed, and not that well either. A lot of the voices sounds fake, and much of the singing is largely ignorable. The sound in this movie is a massive downfall. That being said, some of the songs were extremely catchy, and once again Ernie Dingo has the best performance with one scene featuring traditional (or so I'd assume) aboriginal dance and song. This song is probably the best in the movie, and while it still felt forced, I was somewhat sad at how short it was.
This movie, while certainly fun, isn't really worth watching. The humour is great, and Ernie Dingo is pretty much priceless, but the sound and plot just fail to engage and for a musical, that's pretty fatal. If you love musicals or movies, avoid this, it's not really worth the time. Maybe for a quick laugh if you can ignore the seriously bad plot and the way it progresses, or the essentially worthless musical components, but even then, I'd prefer to see a proper comedy.

Plot 4/10
Visuals 7/10
Sound 2/10
Enjoyment 6/10
Overall 19/40
Grade D+

- Ernie Dingo
- Very funny at points

- Horrible music and sound
- Bad plot and plot pogression
- The music. It's really that bad

1 comment:

  1. Nice review,Nice pictures, Thanks for sharing all with us.. i liked it very much.This movie is releasing today.Now i m going to download Bran Nue Dae movie from this website.