Thursday, August 21, 2008
The Proposition (2005)
The Proposition wastes no time in setting up its very simple premise: Charlie Burns enters into a deal with Outback law enforcement wherein he can save his gentle and most likely innocent younger brother from the gallows by killing his older brother, who happens to be a vicious bastard. But the film has a lot more on its mind, as they say, than just catching the bad guy or how being involved in such a task affects the mind of Charlie, played brilliantly by a barely recognizable Guy Pearce. It's fairly violent and brutal, perhaps gratuitously so, but then again I don't know much about what settlers or Australian Aborigines were up to in the 1880s, so for all I know it's completely accurate. The screenplay was written by Nick Cave, and it's very impressive for a guy who is first and foremost a great songwriter. He also teams up with Warren Ellis to write the score, like he did later for The Assassination of Jesse James. I think of The Proposition as a nice companion piece to that film, both set in the 1880s but halfway around the world from each other, and both worth watching even for casual fans of the genre.