Red Dog (2011)
Directed by: Kriv Stenders
Starring: Rachel Taylor, Josh Lucas, Noah Taylor, and Koko as Red Dog
Sassi’s Star Rating:Â 3/5
Based on an Aussie legend, this quintessential tale oozes with a colloquial charm and sense of humour as unique as the Australian mining town that provides its setting. When truck-driver Tom (Tom Ford) is tasked with delivering a statue of William Dampier to the West Australian mining town he was named after, he finds himself unwittingly caught up in the story of a local dog who that night happens to be on his last legs.
Through a series of flashbacks told by each of the town\’s members, we soon learn that Red Dog is a dog of true character, whose very presence has become a uniting force for an otherwise disparate town. He even has his special paw in a romance between the beautiful Nancy (Rachael Taylor) and American John (Josh Lucas).
This is a quaint little Australian film that will appeal to those happy to succumb to endearing tales and country style flights of fancy. Described as an underdog by the film\’s director, I have little doubt that Red Dog will find a local audienceâ€”it will be especially welcomed by those attracted to Aussie yarns and the so-called â€˜battler\’ spirit.
Both of the film\’s leads prove easy on the eye, and it\’s simple to get swept away in their predictable romance. The supporting cast, each with their exaggerated caricatures, provides welcome humour. Noah Taylor is almost unrecognisable, yet brilliantly cast, as a local publican; and a cameo from the late, great, Bill Hunter seems particularly appropriate here also. Carried along by a throbbing rock n roll soundtrack, what is captured here is distinctly Australian.
Red Dog will bring 1970s Australiana back to the big screen, capturing a verve and humour that was once distilled by the Paul Hogans of the world. If overt Aussie accents and a frequent use of â€˜strewth mate\’ are not your thing, then this film may best be avoided. However, if you love animals and enjoy an old-fashioned Aussie yarn, with a quirky twist, Red Dog will deliver as a small film with a big heart, suitable for the whole family.
Red Dog is in cinemas from August 4th.
Category: Film & TV