07 December 2008

Australia: The movie

An Epic story: Australia

I’m from Kansas. I grew up there in what has become known as the “Land of Oz.” The themes from “Wizard of Oz” and even the Judy Garland song “Somewhere over the rainbow” feature sharply in “Australia” the movie.

Baz Luhrmann directs the movie. Giant actors like Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman make this story of our country bigger than life, or at least bigger than Errol Flynn! There are cattle driving scenes which could be found in ‘epic’ movies, but too many zooms for such a grand adjective. It’s just not big enough for me.

Ever-good as an actor, Bryan Brown brings the king into our movie houses, and when he waltzes with Nicole, we are transported to another era and another place.

Many other Aussie actors like Tony Barry are well chosen. The film shows the harsh life in the 1940s in our country, and an epic love story, it all goes to bring us to another place.

The trailer features the twice-said line, “Just because it is, doesn’t mean [that’s the way] it should be.” I liked that thought. We who are involved in thinking outside the traditional method of thinking, whether in religion like me, or in politics or in basketball or whatever, look beyond the traditional borders and actually break or seek to break them. For us the epic is an encouragement.

The movie speaks of racism in its ugliest colouring from the Stolen Generations (creamies, meaning offspring or mixed black and white people) to those who intersect and engage with them. Again, a very good subplot to discuss and consider. It’s an ugly part of Aussie and most Western civilization. Earlier this year (as the film also highlights in the end segment) our Prime Minister apologized for such activities. Thank you Mr Rudd.

So what is the ‘other place’ the movie takes us to? 1942 Darwin and Japanese bombing? Of course. To romance between Nicole and Jackman? Of course. But to Oz? That’s another question.

Nicole tells the young creamy a story, and glances down to get her topic from the newspaper of the day. The story: The Wizard of Oz. So a girl (is it Nic?) sets about to a far distant land (is it Faraway Downs, her homestead?) with her dog (Nic brings a horse) and gets caught in a storm (is it the business dealings with Brown’s character or the 2nd World War itself?). OK, the similarities are clear there.

But where is Nic’s Oz? Is it romance or the homestead? That’s missing for me. It’s no coincidence that Australia is nicknamed Oz (or Aus) for people of the world. And her people are Aussies. So is Luhrmann intimating that Australia is Oz, and Dorothy would never have clicked her ruby slippers if only she had found Sydney or Darwin on the Yellow Brick Road? Perhaps. And it is a great land. And the people are great.

All the while, I’m thinking about another place. And being transported to where no racism lives, and no place is as it is, only because it is. Things are the way they should be. Without apologies, we can all get there.

The place is Heaven. The owner is God and we can be tenants if we desire and long for such. We don’t earn our way there anymore than Dorothy earned her way to the farm in Kansas. It’s given to God’s children, one by one, to all who put their faith in Him and in His Son, Y’shua.

This is indeed, the ‘other place.’

And one to find out about. I recommend the Bible for you who want to know more. Great place to start. And hey, in 3 hours, the length of the epic Australia, you could get a lot of reading done. And may I recommend you start at say, John’s Gospel . That’s a biography by John of the person of Jesus. John lived with Jesus, so it’s a firsthand account. Very reliable.

Enjoy the movie. If you live here, you will probably like the movie better than those who have never been here. And enjoy the ‘other place’ too. That will last for a long, long time. And with great reviews, too.

7 comments:

John Smulo said...

Thanks for your review. My mom recently saw this movie and enjoyed it. How have Australians in general reacted to this movie?

Bob said...

From the box office, not too enthusiastically, but maybe it's the economic downturn, rather than the thumbs turned down.

Anonymous said...

Come, on, land of oz? this is just an excuse for you to pound the proselitizing thing, hey?

Bob said...

Dear anonymous, I don't need an excuse. The issues I raise, from the movie Australia, about the Land of Oz and the Gospel of Jesus are the way I saw it. Did you see the flick? Did you enjoy it?

Anonymous said...

ok, i saw the movie and think your review is ok, i'll give that to you

KingsFlautist said...

The first song I ever learned, while still a toddler, was "Over the Rainbow". I didn't know Australia was nicked OZ, so thanks for the enlightening. All that info will give me more appreciation for the country when I finally get to visit it, but meanwhile, I so agree that heaven is that place where we can be happier than bluebirds and fly like eagles.

Bob said...

Hi flautist.... yup, you are most welcome in our little world here. God bless you for your kind comments.