In 1880s Australia, outlaw Charlie Burns (Guy Pearce) is given
an impossible proposition by lawman Captain Stanley (Ray Winstone)
- hunt down and kill his loony older brother Arthur (Danny
Huston), or see younger sibling Mike (Richard Wilson) swing.
But Stanley's superior (David Wenham) and wife (Emily Watson)
have other ideas...
caught our eyes during the opening credits of the 2005 film:
"Members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
communities are advised that this film contains images which
may be offensive to indigenous people. It
includes historical photographs of people now deceased."
We then knew that this production from Down
Under wouldn’t be a comfortable watch.
John Hillcoat directs a reliable cast which
includes Guy Pearce (Memento, The Hard Word), Ray Winstone
(Cold Mountain, The Departed), David Wenham (Lord of the Rings,
Van Helsing) and Emily Watson (Red Dragon, Miss Potter) in
a film that brings viewers back to late 19th century Australia
where an outlaw gang leader is at large for committing a cruel
murder. His second brother is given the proposition to hunt
him down in order to save their youngest brother from being
The harsh Australian outback of Queensland
makes a perfect location for this harsh and ruthless backdrop
where gunmen shoot at their enemies without any sympathy.
The result of this beautifully filmed movie is a Western-like
flick where the gritty and unforgiving emotions of the characters
play out nicely against the intricately-written plot.
Kudos to cinematographer Benoit Delhomme
(Breaking and Entering, 1408) for capturing the unflinching
roughness of the sandy grounds against the orange sunsets,
making this 104-minute film a visual treat. Kudos to writer
Nick Cave for penning a story about brotherhood, pride and
vengeance, making this multiple-award winner an engaging watch.
And kudos to Cave and Warren Ellis for composing music that
coldly complements the film’s moods.
film may be violent, grisly and uncomfortable for the meeker
viewers (hence its M18 rating), but at the last scene where
Guy Pearce walks out calmly from a bloodbath into the open
clearing, there is something that will move you quietly amidst
the chaos and pandemonium that you had just experienced.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
This Code 3 DVD contains a 27-minute “The
Making of The Proposition” where the filmmakers
talk about their inspiration for this Western drama set in
Australia, and how each of the cast members feels a sense
of connection playing characters in rural Australia. Elsewhere,
there are “Preview Trailers”
for Casino Royale, Ghost Rider, The Covenant, Shottas, Walking
Tall: The Payback and a promo for other Sony titles which
are going to be released on Blu-Ray discs.
The disc’s visual transfer makes every wide angled scene
in the film look gorgeously captivating, while the audio track
is presented in English 5.1 Dolby Digital.
by John Li