The Proposition (2005)

The Proposition (2005)

The line between good and evil blurs in this dusty, gritty Outback Western

7.3

Movie

Australia, United Kingdom
English
Action, Adventure, Crime, Drama
2005
JOHN HILLCOAT
Bogdan Koca, Boris Brkic, Bryan Probets
104 min

TLDR

No wonder this is Guy Pearce's favorite film he's done.

What it's about

Australia, 1880s. Captain Morris Stanley offers gang member Charlie Burns a choice between two brothers: To save his younger brother Mikey from the gallows, Charlie must hunt down his older brother Arthur, wanted for rape and murder, leading him to journey through the inhospitable Outback.

The take

The Western had its heyday in the 60s, but the decades have proven that there’s still stories from the deserts that we haven’t heard yet, and gems that twist the genre on its head. The Proposition is a unique Western, being from the East, in Australia where the Brits have started to form colonies. As the British Empire builds society, and the police start to enforce the King’s justice, writer Nick Cave and director John Hillcoat crafts a bloody tale, where promises between men are betrayed for the State, where vengeance can only be met through brutality, and where the line between civility and savagery is drawn and moved by the will of an angry majority. The Proposition is quite violent, but it’s performed well, scored by a moody, moving soundtrack, and it surprisingly contemplates Australia’s bloody past.

What stands out

The landscapes are so beautiful, but the performances are so violent… The contrast makes the scenes both so hard to watch yet so hard to look away from.

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