Sunday, October 15, 2006


Movie of the week:

A gothic western - set in the Outback of colonial Australia.

THE PROPOSITION is the kind of western that Sergio Leone or Sam Peckinpah might have made. If you've ever seen Once Upon a Time in the West or The Wild Bunch, you understand the kind of gritty, atmospheric, zen quality of the film. This is the kind of film where the landscape itself is a character. It's the kind of unrelentingly bleak, unceasingly violent, and uncompromisingly ......... er, uncompromising. It's the kind of movie that you watch and continually thank your lucky stars that you don't live there and then. You, in fact, live in the here and now, which is relentingly bleak, ceasingly violent, and comprimisingly ......... well, you get the idea.

The premise sets up an interesting dilemma. The local authorities capture a wanted outlaw and his younger brother. They offer him a proposition. If he finds and kills his older (the gang's leader), they won't hang his younger brother. He better hurry, because he only has 6 days. Don't feel too bad for him, these are not nice people. In fact, the authorities are not very nice people. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find a decent person anywhere.

Why then am I recommending this movie? Because there is great beauty in the bleakness of the empty landscape. Because there is poetry in visceral revenge and justice. Because there is order in the filth and squalor. Because Emily Watson is in it.

Of course, I could just be full of it.

It's hard to explain. I liked this film a lot - you might not. If you liked the movies I mentioned above, you might like it. If you like the film, Natural Born Killers, you might like this film. But try it out and judge for yourself.



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