I’ve only just seen this little Aussie battler – I was dubious when I first saw the trailers, then heard rave reviews from various people, but never got around to it.
It is brilliant.
I can’t begin to describe it properly. If you haven’t seen it, and you’re not embarrassed by poo-talk, you must see it. It captures Australia beautifully. The family relationships in particular are so true that they’re heartbreaking – and they actually are all family! That’s amazing – and that they didn’t kill each other in making it. Kenny himself… well. Quintessentially what we’d like to think Aussie working class blokes are like, but not so stereotyped as to be unbelievable. I think the sheer brilliance of this is that I know Kennys. Quirks, surprises, and sheer bull-headed determination and all.
His insights into Aussie culture – and seeing festivals and the like from behind, as it were – are pointed and exact, and at times quite disturbing because of their truth. Driving past the Calder Raceway every day as I do, the hoons shown there were a bit scary – again, because it’s just so true. And, reflecting the quote from the start, it really does show just how little attention is paid to people who are – for all we like to think we live in a glorious, flat, classless society – treated no better than servants ever were in the hey-day of rigid class division. Those were the bits that made me squirm; not the frank and easy talk of poo (“regular as clockwork, that’s me…”). But Kenny just goes on, and does his job, and enjoys his job, while the people who think they are his betters act like right knobs.
This is The Castle for the 00s. It had better go down as one of the more insightful looks at Aussie culture – as well as being very funny. And the cinematography too – it really does look like a doco; it’s magnificently done.