So after yesterday’s completely frivolous and shameless post (complete with a comment trail gone wild), I of course immediately, as in immediately, had to watch Australia. I initially made plans to watch it with Abby, basically for the express purpose of being able to grab each other’s sleeves and do some fierce tugging and muffled shrieking when the famous wet-and-shirtless-scene comes on, but I ended up watching it with Don, which is of course not the same but still ok, because he knew I had this huge crush on Hugh Jackman and gave me some obliging teasing nudges of his own during the movie, he he (Wow, that was a long sentence).
Well, the wet-and-shirtless scene definitely delivers, and I can totally understand Abby’s sentiments when she said that she’s willing to watch the movie again if only for that scene alone (dibidi na lang, Abby, para pwede i-slo mo, he he). Overall, I found the cinematography a bit odd (I imagine Australia to look a lot sunnier, not look like a Technicolor movie), but Hugh Jackman was certainly always lovingly framed. There were so many rearing-up-his-horse-and-manfully-looking-over-shoulders shots, one can do screen caps of them and put together a Marlboro calendar. And then do a rhum calendar next, using the shirtless scenes. Mmmm.
But my favorite (obviously aside from the wet-and-shirtless) shot was the super close-up shot of Hugh Jackman’s newly-shaven face and that look he gave Nicole Kidman when he showed up at that ball. Swoon.
Hugh Jackman ogling aside, however, I found the movie to be quite uneven, with high momentum scenes just popping up all over the place, driven by the film’s compulsion to propel itself forward in a grand and sweeping manner. Abby told me that there’s one part where they thought the film was already ending, only it turned out to be just halfway, and when I was watching the film I was like – oh, this was what she was talking about. It’s like they ended a storyline and then went straight to making the sequel, only that they decided to make the sequel a weighty war movie while the first one was a romantic-comedy adventure romp (Kinda like this blog post, which starts out with frivolous Hugh-gushing and then attempts to become a film review, he he…)
The movie is definitely ambitious, but this sort of thing has been done much better decades before by Gone with the Wind – a young nation in turmoil, racist mistakes that will haunt generations, a headstrong woman and her ruggedly handsome hero (and the Technicolor look, for that matter) – and you’d have to admit that Gone with the Wind is a much more complex story. Anyway, if they ever remake Gone with the Wind I’d want Hugh Jackman as Rhett Butler.
But damn. I can’t find a photo of that wet-and-shirtless scene. Why oh why?