THE PROPOSITION (2005)

TMG Scale 7.5
Joy Lynn: 2.0 —a guy film and too much violence for me!
Starring Ray Winstone, Danny Huston, Noah Taylor, Guy Pearce, Richard Wilson

Joy Lynn: This is a man’s movie. It is creepy, harsh and riddled with flies. I gave up listening to the dialogue in the beginning because so much of it was mumbled. The Proposition is full of grit, grime, sweat, flies and sudden outbursts of graphic and brutal violence. Sound appealing ladies? Emily Watson as Stanley’s wife Martha brings some relief to this evil bloody tale, as did the beautiful scenery and excellent thread of music. Without that, I would likely have turned the movie off before finishing it.

This is a Australian Western set back in the 1890’s with horrifying evil and disgust.  Ray Winstone as Captain Stanley is a local lawman in the Australian Outback trying to bring order to the land and captures two of the four notorious Burns brothers.  (This gets a bit confusing as to who is who since they all look similar with grit and sweat covering their greasy heads of hair.) The brothers are responsible for setting the Hopkins Farm on fire, raping a pregnant women and murdering the entire family. Stanley propositions ex-outlaw Charlie Burns (Pearce) to kill his older brother Arthur (Huston) for committing murder and rape, or he will hang his younger brother, Mikey on Christmas Day. Ladies and gents, if you get quesy watching a flogging or seeing heads blown off, gore dripping from the walls and blood pooled on the floor this is not the movie to pick on Christmas Day. Save it for Halloween.

TMG says: Joy Lynn just doesn’t get it. This is a gripping tale of of survival and justice in untamed territory.  I got past the obvious question of why the British Royal Guard was running around in Australia in the 1890’s.  I just accepted it. It did not matter. Why are we in Libya today or Afghanistan today?  The Lord only knows. The Lord only judges. The rest of us struggle with tough decisions.

Sometimes seeing justice done means working with the bad guys and cutting deals. Prosecutors today do this every day. Ray Winstone portrays a military man a bit like Kevin Costner as Lt. Dunbar in Dances with Wolves (1990). To survive in an uncivilized land you have to adapt.  You make deals with your enemies. I agree many women may find this film too gritty and bloody but  it does not mean it is any less a great film because it is  tough to watch.  I would rarely recommend many women I know see The Kiler Inside Me (2010), but it clearly was an awesome film. We sometimes need to face the harsh realities of life.  Better to do so in film at a warm, comfy theatre than at home. And better the flies are only on the screen.

 

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