True History of the Kelly Gang review – brutal portrait of the outback outlaw

Published on Sep 13, 2019

Justin Kurzel delivers a fierce counterpoint to the Ned Kelly legend with this starkly violent story of a damaged criminal

Justin Kurzel detonates a punk power-chord of defiance and anarchy with this brutally violent and unflinchingly stark tale that unfolds in a scorched, alien-looking landscape. The film is adapted by Shaun Grant from Peter Carey’s Booker prize-winning novel, and it is a further variation on the legend of Ned Kelly, the 19th-century Australian outlaw and bush-ranger at war with the English colonial oppressor. Kurzel’s rock’n’roll Kelly has a bit more in common with the spirit of Mick Jagger’s portrayal in Tony Richardson’s 1970 film treatment than with Heath Ledger’s the 2003 version.

Kurzel’s movie draws on the traditional view of Kelly as the Jesse James or Che Guevara of Australia, but subverts the legend by presenting a vivid context of dysfunction and abuse in

Read full article at: The Guardian - Film News

Author: Peter Bradshaw in Toronto