By Kerry Miller
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Film Industry Development Specialist at the Hawaii Film Office/local filmmaker
as told to Kerry Miller
Where and with whom did you see the movie?
I went to Pearl Highlands with my sister Karli Anbe.
Overall, what did you think?
I thought it was a departure from the normal Baz (Luhrmann, the director) film that’s usually music intensive. It’s kind of a postcard love letter movie to his home country,Australia. It’s a romance kind of a film. It was really cinematic and (had) great landscape, but was a little bit too CG (computer generated) - like watching one of those video game commercials.
It was set between 1939 and 1942, so it had a Pearl Harbor kind of feel to it.The women were gasping and awwing at Hugh Jackman. He pours a bucket of water over himself; it’s like a fun, gratuitous scene.The film doesn’t pretend it’s anything that it’s not. It’s set to be a romantic, big, over-thetop movie. If that’s what you want, then that’s what you’re going to see.
What about the romance between Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman, were they believable as two people in love?
Yeah, I guess they were in that love/hate, I’m not supposed to like you kind of thing. That was one of the funniest things about the movie. Hugh Jackman was kind of this stud character.
Were there other actors in the film you recognized? How would you rate their performances?
There was David Wenham from Lord of the Rings, who played the bad guy.The main breakout character to me was Nullah, by Brandon Walters. He kind of stole the show, stole the picture. His acting was, like, phenomenal. It made Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman take a seat. He’s like 11 years old; this is his first film.
Reviews say this film is reminiscent of Gone With The Wind or The Wizard of Oz. Do you agree?
The Wizard of Oz is really tied into this film, actually. One of the funniest things is the aboriginal boy wants Nicole Kidman to sing him a song because he just lost someone, and she tries to sing Somewhere Over The Rainbow. She can sing, but she’s acting like she can’t sing it. At one point he actually watches The Wizard of Oz. I guess it was part of the inspiration of this film.
Was there a song in the movie’s soundtrack that you particularly liked? Did the soundtrack contribute significantly to the movie?
Usually Baz Luhrmann’s films are very music intensive, like William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Moulin Rouge. This one was more orchestral music.
On a scale of one to four stars, what would you rate this movie?
I give it ★★★ 1/2.
To whom would you recommend this movie?
I would recommend it to any Hugh Jackman fan. I think anyone who loves him will love this movie. There’s a side of him, too, in this movie I never saw - he’s a good crier. It was kind of a refreshing side of him.
I work at the (Hawaii) film office. I’m also a filmmaker, on the side, on the weekends. I’m actually producing a new short film that is going to be really funny. It’s called AJUMMA, and it’s about a Korean superstar who comes to Hawaii and three local ladies who try to hunt him down. I was inspired by my aunties and my secretary friends at the film office.
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