Saturday, 5 March 2011

Animal Kingdom - Cineworld, Edinburgh - 28/2/11





Operator:  Hello, "dial-a-cliche" can I help?

MyFilm:  Yes, hello, my name is Mozzer.  I write film reviews and I've just been to see Australian crime thriller "Animal Kingdom".

Operator:  Yes?

MyFilm:  Well, the thing is, I try really hard not to read other reviews of films I'm writing about so that what I write is absolutely, 100%, my thoughts on things.

Operator:  Yes, so how can "dial-a-cliche" help Mozzer?

MyFilm:  Right.  So, the problem is that I'm fairly sure that every other reviewer will have enjoyed "Animal Kingdom" because it was, well, to be honest, bloody fantastic.  Have you seen it?

Operator:  No, no I haven't.  Good was it?

MyFilm:  Oh, you have no idea.  This was the sort of film that can wash away the foul stench of a million James Cameron movies or the ghastly sight of yet another Waylans movie cluttering up the screens of your local cinema.

Operator:  Sounds good.  What was it about?

MyFilm:  Oh, right.  Well, it's a Godfather style tale of a crime family but stripped bare.  No fancy cars, big houses and tailor made suits.  Just a, seemingly, normal Australian family who happen to be bank robbers and drug dealers.  They go to the shops, they are married, they hang out together but they are public enemy number one in the eyes of the police.

Operator:  So, it's another crime movie?

MyFilm:  No, no it's much more than that.  The crime element is important because it carries the film but this is really a film about family, love and the ties that bind us to other people.  So, for example, the key character is a teenage boy, J, who is forced into the arms of his grandmother after his mother dies from a heroin overdose.  His grandmother is the matriarch of a family of violent and dangerous bank robbers and drug dealers.  She wraps a loving arm around J but at the same time does nothing to prevent him being dragged into a violent and dangerous world with his uncles.  The whole idea of "blood is thicker than water" and "loyalty" is laid bare here.

Operator:  Thought provoking stuff Mozzer.  I don't understand how we can help though.

MyFilm:  Well, I just wanted a load of cliches I could throw into the review because I'm a bit tired to be honest and I can't be bothered writing about how following on from Warwick Thorntons incredible "Samson and Delilah" at about the same time last year this is further evidence of a renaissance in Australian cinema and signals a shift away from the sweet and tender comedies of "Strictly Ballroom" and "Muriels Wedding" say to something more dramatic and visceral.

Operator:  OK.  Well, let me see what we've got for, hold about this; "Animal Kingdom" is a dark and gritty contemporary crime drama that will have you gasping for breath.

MyFilm:  Brilliant.  Thanks a lot.

Operator:  Not a problem.  Thanks for calling "dial-a-cliche"

MyFilm:  Bye.

Operator:  Bye.


  1. It does sound very good. Although having watched 6 seasons of the Sopranos in 2 months, I think I may have slightly over-dosed on the old morally complex family crime drama.

  2. I described it as goodfellas, but with all the glamour replaced with wife beater vests and cans of 4X. But i like your slant more. V good like 'Movies, Games and Videos' but more modern, and with less games. Actually no games.