Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Starring: Mel Gibson, Mark Lee, Bill Kerr
Length: 110 min.
IMDB Summary: Two Australian sprinters face the brutal realities of war when they are sent to fight in the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey during World War I.
Despite Gibson's charisma, Gallipoli falls flat because it tries too hard to drive its viewpoint home. Not only is the lead character naive, innocent and youthful--he has blonde hair, somewhat resembles a California surfer and lives in a rural, impoverished area. A perfect specimen to depict an innocent youth corrupted by the evils of war. All too perfect. With Lee's character bringing zero energy to the plot--rather dragging it down, with cliche acting--the path is cleared for Gibson's character to practically run the show. Perhaps a welcome relief for Lee, but Gibson's monopoly on the entertainment factor of Gallipoli certainly did not boost my appreciation for the film or its message regarding the tragedy of war, practically shoved down the viewer's throat. Yes, Gallipoli was a military disaster and a human tragedy--however, the film adaption bombards viewers with the message that war is hell, from the lead's disillusionment with the concept of battle to the final five seconds of the movie, which come across as maudlin and overdone rather than sincere and subtle. More originality and subtlety could have garnered Gallipoli far more recognition in the film industry and beyond as a classic war movie. Unfortunately, this film, with its trite characters and dogmatically-presented message, does not even come close to the success it could have achieved.
Some war-related violence, but little blood is shown. Brief partial nudity. Some off-duty soldiers enter a red-light district where prostitutes are dressed seductively, some with no tops; they disappear into a building, and nothing more is shown. This film might have been rated PG-13 today, due to the brief partial nudity.
Image from imdb.com