Netflixed Gallipoli


Australian Director Peter Weir takes on one of his country’s most tragic moments in history: the World War I confrontation with the German allied Turks. As the film leads up to the battle in act three, we get to know the young men destined to be casualties of war. A young Mel Gibson (on the heels of his successful turn in Mad Max) plays one of the innocent doomed. This poignant war drama swept the Australian Film Institute Awards with eight wins. [Netflix: Gallipoli]

Was predisposed not to like this film because:
a. it is a tragic war film, and who hasn’t seen enough of those
b. the film starred Mel Gibson

However, liked it a lot. The bloody spurts of war’s cruelty isn’t even on screen until the last act, and beside a lot of sound effects, and some blood, the carnage is more implied than fetishized. One could offer critique that war as depicted in Gallipoli is akin to a holiday camp for young men, but then it seems as if a lot of 17 year olds believe that to be the case. War as it really is too disturbing to watch. Gallipoli isn’t that sort of movie, choosing cinematography over grit every time, especially in the first act set in western Australia.

To be honest, I almost liked the included documentary about the making of the film as much if not more, but then I’m a film school drop-out. Your mileage may vary.

“Rum Sodomy & the Lash” (The Pogues)

Oh, also was strongly reminded of the Pogues song1: And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda

[live version]
[album version, with images from WW 1]

  1. which due to the peculiarities of Shane MacGowan’s diction, and my own tin ears, never noticed that he is singing about Gallipoli specifically []

1 thought on “Netflixed Gallipoli

  1. I did something at the end of Gallipoli that I’d never done before or since at a film: I burst into tears. But so did everyone else, so I guess that was an appropriate reaction.

    Yeah, Mel Gibson. I was watching The Road Warrior not too long ago and managed to overlook or look past that it was Mel Gibson. I’ve never been a Mel Gibson fan, but I do like The Road Warrior. I like it better than Mad Max and I didn’t bother with Thunderdome or whatever it was.

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