(Review originally written at 1 August 2009)

An Australian western. How weird does that sound? Still the atmosphere and nature of Australia seems to fit the genre perfectly. It's a dirty, raw and bleak movie all in one.

It's also a movie that's a bit too much aware of its own style. It often prefers its artistic and deeper meaning approaches over its true story. The movie at times definitely feels like its style over substance and it prevented me from truly finding this a great movie. Of course westerns are often about its style and atmosphere but this movie definitely over does this at times.

No, the movie was not as great as I had initially expected it to be. It had a more than great concept and enough elements in it to expect this to be a fresh and original movie. It's still fresh and original all but the whole package still slightly disappoints.

Having said that, "The Proposition" is simply still a good movie to watch. It doesn't have the best written story but the way it's being told still makes this a good genre movie. It's of course slow, doesn't always feature a lot of dialog and features some typical characters from the genre., that all makes this a good watch, especially when you're into 'modern' new westerns, such as movies like "Unforgiven", "Open Range" and "3:10 to Yuma".

The movie has a surprising cast, with mostly Australian actors that are also well known beyond the boundaries. Best known is of course Guy Pearce and John Hurt but it's really Ray Winstone who gives away the best and most impressive performance of the movie. To me he also was the main character and I'm not too sure if the movie would had worked out as well without him.

A good and original western from Australia.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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