Friday, January 2, 2009


I have never been to the Australian outback. I mean, I have never set my foot in any part of Australia. However, I have always been fascinated with this down under and been dreaming of visiting every inch of it's astounding and spectacular land. The Sydney 2000 Summer Olympic Games and U.S TV show Survivor: Australia have instantly made me become an aficionado of Australia.

My affection towards Australia especially the outback become more fervid after watching the epic romantic adventure film: Australia recently. Australia, directed by Baz Luhrman (Moulin Rouge!) is a love story, a World War II saga and a social-conscience drama. It's 1939, the English aristocrat Lady Sarah Ashley (Nicole Kidman) set her foot in remote Faraway Downs cattle station owned by her husband who just murdered hours before her arrival. Then everything that changes Lady Ashley's life begins from that day: she takes over her husband's business, learns droving, forms a beautiful relantionship with a half-caste child, Nullah (Brandon Walters) and hooks up with a wild drover called The Drover (Hugh Jackman) who leads her herd on a dangerous cross-country track to Darwin.

However, the core of Australia is about the 'stolen generations'- mixed-race or half-caste children whom abducted and put in mission schools to breed the black out of them. Nullah is one of the half-caste kid who hunted by the Government and there is Lady Ashley who is willing to do anything to prevent anyone from taking him away.

Australia really is a beautiful film. Yes, it certainly has flaws but it is still beautiful. You will find everthing in it - love, courage, sacrifice, hardship and the true meaning of life.

One of the scenes from Australia
(Photo taken without permission from

Another great story about the Australian outback (apart from Rabbit-Proof Fence of course) which also tells the meaning of love, courage and hardship is a short story entitled The Drover's Wife written by the most famous Australian author, Henry Lawson. I first read the short story when I was in form four, together with other four short stories: Somerset Maugham's The Lotus Eater, Guy de Maupassant's The Necklace, Roald Dahl's The Sound Machine and Bessie Head's Looking for A Rain God. These five short stories are compulsory to be studied by all form four students since they are part of literature compenents in English Language syllabuss.

The Drover's Wife reflects about the harsh of Australian outback people's lives by telling a story about a drover's wife who has to face with harsh situation when she and her four children are left alone at home when her husband goes droving to earn a living. Rearing during wet season and droving during draught is a way of life in the outback. One day, a snake enters the house and the drover's wife must protect her children at all time since the snake is hiding in the house. If the snake bites one of her children, it would be a real disaster. The head of the family is thousand miles away and it is 19 miles to the nearest neighbour. That is the hardship of life in the Australian outback that you can feel by watching Australia or reading The Drover's Wife. Both will touch your heart. I still remember how I burst into tears after I finished reading The Drover's Wife. How could one hold his or her tears when reading The Drover's Wife's ending?:

The dirty-legged boy stands for a moment in his shirt, watching the fire. Presently he looks up at her, sees the tears in her eyes, and, throwing his arms round her neck exclaims: “Mother, I won’t never go drovin’; blarst me if I do!”. And she hugs him to her worn-out breast and kisses him; and they sit thus together while the sickly daylight breaks over the bush.


nzard said...

So did u look up which scene was re-done? thank God for it! my friend told me the film was longer but after lots of censorship it just last after two and a half hour....that's just too bad =p
btw, I love looking for a rain God and thought the other story were a bit blah. Of all lit. book we have to learn for English, I enjoyed 'the return' the most (may differ to each state) and I prefer European country instead (esp. after reading 'the historian')

marmalade said...

apakah itu drover?

Naz said...

Nzard: Aku pun suka The Return jugak tapi masa SPM hari tu aku jawab novel John Steinbeck's The Pearl.

Mala: Drover tu orang yang drive livestock to market. Droving ni mmg susah giler kejenya. Cam dalam citer Australia ni diorang kena droving thousand of cattle from an outback to Darwin..perjalanan yg sgt jauh, mencabar dan merbahaya. 3-4 ari baru sampai ke destinasi. Jadi drovers terpaksa tinggalkan anak isteri mereka di kawasan pedalaman yg terdedah kepada pelbagai bahaya untuk tempoh yg sgt lama demi mencari nafkah utk keluarga.. Hard life kan?

Pengejar Masa said...

good review! senang2 nanti aku tgk

puwakah said...

kat KL pon ada Outback...Steak

Naz said...

Hadi: Thnks. It's a good film. Not the best but it's meaningful.

Puwakah: iye ke?

ShahRiLL RaMLi said...

awwww...Nic is in it! Too bad I'm all the way cast away in Jitra. I've found one an 'original' CD though. Hheee.. maybe i'll buy it later *wink*. I'm sure Nic nails the part as the snobbish aristocrat, rite?

By the way, this reminds me of 'Changeling" !!Huhuh....I don't think I'm up to watch it anywhere bila ditayagkan di Malaysia. And on the 12th Jan, the day the Golden Globe , aku masuk maktab dah. I hope those movie nerds and freaks cast the ballot for Angie!!! *wink*

Fakhzan Marwan said...

rakan saya memuji2 kehebatan film ini. dia yang selalu nya sangat fussy dengan film, telah beria2 membuat review. dan setelah membaca review anda, saya kira mungkin jua film ini is worth to watch.