Kelly, Dir: Gregor Jordan - Cert: 15
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
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.