Film reviews

Ned Kelly, Dir: Gregor Jordan - Cert: 15

Ned Kelly, famous (or infamous even) Australian outlaw of the late 1800’s - the antipodes answer to Robin Hood? Well if this film is accurate then yes he may well be.

Told in the form of a narrative by the titular hero, the film starts in 1871 with a false accusation of horse stealing and the revelation of bad blood between the Kelly family and the local constabulary leading to the imprisonment of Ned (Heath Ledger).

Ned’s release three years later see’s the feud continue alongside the Kelly’s attempts to stay within the law failing when an officer, smitten by Ned’s sister Kate, fails to take the hint to leave her alone and is assaulted by on e of Ned’s brothers. False accusations (again!) against Ned, this time of attempted murder, combined with his mothers arrest are the final straw that tips him into a life of crime & vengeance.

Shot to show some of the outstanding natural beauty of Australia, the film follows the Kelly gangs exploits across New South Wales & Victoria sometimes making more of the landscape than developing any real empathy for the central characters.

Ledger, in a break from his predominantly lighter prior roles (10 Things... , Knights Tale) gives a reasonable performance in the lead role, Orlando Bloom provides his second creditable supporting performance of the summer and Geoffrey Rush is controlled as the police superintendent bought in from South Africa to capture the gang.

There are some light hearted moments through the film - the best possibly being one of the bank robberies, however the most memorable part of the film is the postscript at the end relating that Kelly was hung at the age of 25 despite a petition of 32,000 signatures asking for clemency. 5/10

K Soze

Odeon Online


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