Monday, January 25, 2016

671. Gallipoli

Directed by Peter Weir

An Australian war movie about two runners?  It truly sounds like an absolute nightmare for me, but I was actually able to enjoy it quite a bit.  Low expectations always manage to save the day.

Two sprinters, Archie and Frank, decide to enlist in Australian Imperial Force during World War II.  The two are separated, with Archie going with the Light Horses and Frank going with the Australian version of T-birds to train in Cairo.  Both men are eventually sent to Gallipoli and well, I suppose a knowledge of that battle is a spoiler in itself.

I am not sure I can adequately defend this one.  It is a pretty cut and dried story. The whole "loss of innocence" isn't exactly an original concept, and it played out fairly routine on screen. Still, I found myself quite riveted by this film.  Obviously, if you know about this battle, you know what is going to go down (even though there were quite a few historical inaccuracies in this).  However, in this movie there is no question of what will happen. Instead, we are left to wonder  how something like this could have happened.  Why did these two young, strapping men with great potential abandon all other dreams for the life of soldier?  Oh yes, and Mel Gibson is hot.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

In the movie, Archie is unable to enlist at first because he is not yet 21.  In 1915 Australia, the minimum age that you could enlist was 18.

At the time, was the most expensive Australian film ever made.

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