WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
From a place youíve never heard of, comes a story youíll never forget. GALLIPOLI tells the story of two young and innocent Australian mates, Archy Hamilton (Mark Lee) and Frank Dunne (Mel Gibson). Their country is entering the first World War and is idealized as fun and games. The brutal reality of war sets in when they partake in the Battle of Gallipoli in Turkey. These brothers in arms will never be the same.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Peter Weir is one of my favorite directors, mainly because he has brought audiences so many unique films. GALLIPOLI is no different and most certainly unique. Using an entirely Australian cast and crew, Weir brings to life one of Australiaís most devastating battles in World War I; consequently making a picture that is heralded as one of the greatest Australian films of all time. I was totally mesmerized by the filmís grace and splendor Ė much like watching LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. The scope and scale of the film is truly impressive. The story is timeless and the message is heavy. The outstanding performances by Mark Lee and Mel Gibson thrusts you into their world and their pain.
I knew nothing of GALLIPOLI in the sense of both the film or the event, so this opened my eyes to a different side of the war. Because of this, GALLIPOLI struck a chord with me and earned a rightful place in my war DVD library. By far the most talked about element of the film is the sudden and bold ending of the picture. It certainly is in your face and you canít help but sit in silence and ponder what just took place. Itís so striking because Weir uses most of the picture to show you their world and characters, much like SAVING PRIVATE RYAN or BAND OF BROTHERS. The movieís message resonates with you long after you see it and is a magnificent achievement in Australian filmmaking.
There are only two special features on this disc but in this instance, the quality outshines the quantity.
Entrenched: The Making of GALLIPOLI: This massive documentary has six sections and is by far the most personal and best DVD documentary feature Iíve seen all year! Elegantly produced, these docs feel like they belong on the history channel. Peter Weir, Mel Gibson, and Co. all come back for the DVD and show the timeís history, filmmaking experiences, and remember the nationís past. I almost enjoyed watching these more than the movie itself! Bravo!
Theatrical Trailer: Equally as powerful as the film but in a few minutes, you really get a sense of the whole experience.
For those that havenít seen GALLIPOLI, do yourself a favor and watch it! Epic landscapes, large location shoots, truthful acting, and a powerful story make this a movie to see. No doubt, fans will run out and pick this up and they should! The audio, the transfer, and the superb documentary, make this worth picking up. This is one of those films youíll never forget mate.