Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Animal Kingdom

Matriarchal madness

Lover: Taken from IMDB

“This is a superb movie, with tension building from start to its very clever finish, and an excellent plot. The characters and acting are all beautifully realised. Yes, the characters are not particularly likable or interesting people and they seemingly fail to learn from their actions, but this is the whole point. The opening scene, in which young Josh is more interested in a TV show than his mother dying before him, pretty well sums up this family. As such, they are much more believable as people than most characters you will see in a movie or TV show. Overll, a huge contribution to film, and as good a crime movie as you will seen anywhere”

It is s simple story but the real pleasure in this film is the character exploration.

Hater: Taken from IMDB
“I heard good things about this film, but alas, after watching it, I realised that, like so many other Australian films, it's just dull. Slow, boring, well-filmed and dull. If this is the "animal kingdom", then the animals are either dying of disease or stupidity.
The dialogue is average; the story is okay, but very slow, and nothing really lifts the pace in any way. It should have been a stronger, faster film, but instead it traded that for an half-assed character-driven film that limps along. The cinematography is okay in itself, but there's nothing that makes it an iconic Melbourne-set film, which it should have been.
The lead character, 'J' appears to be slightly retarded. The Cody brothers are amateurs, and it's surprising that they lasted as long as they did. We're told that the Cody brothers are drug dealers, and bank robbers, but we never see any of that.
It won an award at Sundance, which I think reflects the quality of other films on offer. It's great that an Australian film has done reasonably well, but unfortunately it represents the entrenched Australian film industry mindset - slow, dull, and without appeal. A 45 minute film stretched to 90 minutes. “

I’m not going to say too much other than they clearly missed the point.

What I thought
When they talk about crime families in the entertainment industry you’ll hear the Corleoni’s or The Sopranos, You should now add The Cody’s. Though a world away from their Mafiosi counterparts the set up is the same with a manipulative matriarch sitting atop a pyramid of male testosterone, Like The Godfather or indeed Tony Soprano. The mother has an edge unlike any of her peers however, looking at her boys through rose tinted glasses and using a mother’s lover to manipulate them to all manner of things including murder.

The plot and set-up are simple enough, when Josh’s mother passes away due to an overdose he must move in with his aunty and the infamous Cody brothers. It’s not long till him and his girlfriend is embroiled in the seedy life of drugs, crooked cops and retaliatory killings. From that point on the film is filled with tense and completely unpredictable scenes as the family spirals out of control. The film itself is understated, filmed simply the pace never going faster than a crawl but then it never needs to.

Animal Kingdom is a powerhouse in the Crime genre, not for gunfights or interesting heists not even cool characters. Its power is in the analysis of the family unit and the way they cope with comings of goings of this choice of lifestyle. The mother of course played impeccably by Jacki Weaver is the real talking point; her Oscar nommed portrayal is as scary as it is fascinating. Animal Kingdoms slow pacing and the fact it has no big bangs mean it won’t appeal to everyone however I strongly suggest everyone check it out, concentrate on the relationship between a mother and her homicidal sons.

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"Films are Loved, Films are hated. I'm here to help you decide where you stand..." I also do web work including a good knowledge of HTML, ASP, using the adobe web package and a strong understanding of SEO, Google Analytics.