Director: Geoffrey Wright
Writer: Geoffrey Wright
Also starring: Jacqueline McKenzie (Gabe), Daniel Pollock
(Davey), Alex Scott (Martin), Leigh Russell (Sonny Jim)
here to read fan reviews
Hm, not necessarily the best film to open
your "meet Russell Crowe" film festival. Gut reaction:
terrifying, a really scary story, scenes that gave me the
creeps big time. Of course, all this is precisely why I
was taken in by it. It has been said that much of Irish
film is imbued with the claustrophobia of a people who sense
themselves trapped on an island. Okay, so maybe the Australians
do not sense themselves trapped on an island, but this story
has all the claustrophobia of a culture that wants a little
story gallops along, following the path of some memorably
ambiguous characters. A peculiar, compellingly self-interested
and vulnerable epileptic drifter meets Hando, ferociously
charismatic neo-nazi skinhead leader, and Davey, Hando's
All hell breaks loose, it's (more)
chaos (than usual) in neo-naziland.
The breaking point is when our protagonists and their antagonist
come to the edge of the earth. The sea washes away sins
(or at least dissolves them!) but it is also a most immovable
The film leaves us with
a peculiar sense of positive closure, though the events
leading to this closure make the happy ending taste rather
One point I wonder about:
I read somewhere on the web that the film's title was related
to an Australian children's tv show called Romper
Room. Ahem, I don't remember Miss whatshername
having an Australian accent, and I don't know why such a
tv show host would lead little Australian kids in a ritualistic
pledge of allegiance to the star spangled banner every morning.
Anyone who knows who was Romping first, please do tell!
very ugly film. Brutal. Well-done, intense, and scary.
Rated: Five Crowes
Shocking, violent, and compelling, this
movie is not for the
faint-hearted. Romper Stomper depicts a realistic picture
of what life within a Skin-head group is like.
The movie takes place in Melbourne over the course of a
few days and
documents the struggle of the group to maintain their territory,
feel is being invaded by foreigners.
The group's leader, Hando (Russell Crowe), guides the group
in the fight and
acts as a father of sorts to his "family" of misfits.
Russell is transformed in this part, both physically and
in his delivery.
His appearance is so far removed from any previous film,
that he may not be
recognizable at first. He appears complete with skinned
head and multiple,
body- covering tattoos. His immersion into this role is
so thorough and
complete that even the most loyal Russell fan will be hard
pressed to feel
any positive feelings for Hando, however he still manages
to elicit sympathy
as his world crumbles around him. You'll hate him, but you'll
find that you
feel sorry for him (to a certain degree). Russell's acting
is so pure in
this movie that the viewer will find him/herself questioning
whether or not
there is a skin-head skeleton in his closet.
Without a doubt, this was Russell's movie from start to
finish. He delivers
an unflinching, menacing performance which earned him an
AFI award for Best
Actor. There is no denying that this (at the time of its
release) was his
best performance to date, and some feel that it still is.
Violence, graphic sex and controversial subject matter may
viewers think twice about rental or purchase, but do not
let this stop you.
At the end of this movie, you will have a better understanding
as to what it
is about Russell that makes him undeniably male.
Viewer beware: you will probably see haunting shades of
Hando in every
subsequent Russell performance. However, this is not a bad
thing, as it
will serve to remind you just how very versatile he is.
Rated: four crowes