Last night I watched The Proposition, starring Guy Pearce, directed by John Hillcoat, and written by musician Nick Cave. The movie is a western, although unlike most traditional westerns, it is set in Australia.
Guy Pearce plays Charlie Burns who is caught at the beginning of the movie, along with his little brother. He is given a proposition, he must go out, find and kill his older brother, Arthur. If he does not, then Captain Stanley (Ray Winstone)will hang his little brother.
During Charlie’s quest, we learn what it was Arthur did to be considered the baddest of the bad in Australia. What makes this movie great, is that we never really learn much of Charlie. He is quiet and concerned with saving his younger brother. In a typical western, Captain Stanley would have been the villain. He would have been the Army commander who has an evil motive for sending Charlie out, but this is not the case in this movie. The captain is a good man, who is trying desperately to civilize the land.
Another bright spot in the film is Stanley’s wife, played by Emily Watson. She fits into the movie so well, she helps us really like Captain Stanley, and hope nothing ill to befall him.
I will end this by saying more westerns should be shot in Australia. The landscape and sunsets were awesome. Also, Nick Cave’s music was great, kind of creepy, but still made each scene flow together.