When excitedly discussing great movies with people, I inevitably find myself saying “You have to watch The Proposition. It is excellent” (at which point most confuse it with The Proposal). Naturally, one of the first suggestions I thought of for Movie Rob‘s Movies from a Hat series, was…drum roll…The Proposition (2005).
I must admit, I can’t remember it very well. Just that it was dusty and gritty and brutal. Oh, and excellent. Only fair that if I tell Rob to watch it, I should probably do a catch-up round myself. Which I did last night…
Captain Stanley (Ray Winstone) is a lawman (of sorts) in the wild Australian Outback and has one aim: to tame the land. So he captures notorious gang brothers Charlie and Mike Burns, played by Guy Pearce and Richard Wilson respectively. The one he really wants though, is Arthur Burns (Danny Huston), the ruthless leader of the gang. Keeping Mike in jail, he releases Charlie on condition that he will kill Arthur within 9 days. Failing this, young Mike will hang.
Nick Cave always delivers. Be it his screenplays or music. Here we have both. While the story may move along at a very leisurely pace, there is plenty to admire. The lighting, camera angles, scene composition, characters. The works. I’d say it may lean more towards being a piece of art than a movie. And the music. Together with Warren Ellis, Nick Cave composes a superb accompaniment to the visuals.
In my opinion, you are kept on your toes. Trying to figure out who is going to do what and how this is all going to unravel. Because, trust me, it all needs to come to a head. And, a brutal one at that.
Directed by John Hillcoat, this is well worth watching, but, beware…it is violent. Excellent acting, as always, by Guy Pearce and Ray Winstone. Keep an eye out for Noah Taylor and David Wenham as they are not easily recognisable. Emily Watson and John Hurt also star (and likewise are great – as are all the cast members)
Movie Rob’s review for this movie can be found here.