Muriel’s Wedding Oz movie #24 and The Castle Oz movie #25

Muriel’s Wedding
director: PJ Hogan
1994

The Castle
director: Rob Sitch
1997

What an odd juxtaposition these two are, available on the big screen as a Cult Screening at The Capri yesterday. That start, referring back to late June. I have agonised since then over writing this because I can see I’m the odd man out.

Every character in Muriel’s Wedding is gross. As I watched these awful people living their dreary lives I couldn’t understand why I’d expected it to be a comedy. IMBD and Wiki both call it a ‘comedy drama’, whatever that is and google goes for ‘drama romance’. I dunno. Was the romance the woman who took two men home, strangers, and had extremely loud sex with them? Or marrying a person for money because you aren’t going to get married any other way?

How depressing that running away to Sydney, with that ghastly flat mate as mentor is coming good. The only decent men are the two gang-bangers, who are so anxious to make sure the little nerdy guy isn’t doing something untoward to Muriel. That makes sense, girls.

It’s impossible to like anybody in Muriel’s Wedding and impossible not to like everybody in The Castle. The movies are a great contrast for how you can make the same material, the same human characters endearing or repulsive. And yet, noting that voting for the Adelaide Film Festival last year saw these movies rated one and two, I suspect that’s because the usual viewer sees them as the same. This really hurts me. I went with a friend who hated Muriel’s Wedding when it first came out and wondered if things will have changed for her. Well they didn’t.

Except we are agreed on this. Let’s suppose we are right. Let’s suppose that we don’t have to love Muriel’s world the way we love The Castle’s. Let’s suppose it is meant to be rotten to the core, every last bit of it. That if it had a narrator, he would not have had anybody to whom to say that he was worth the rest of them put together.

I wish Muriel’s Wedding would have a different audience some time. One that sees it for the horrifying side of Australian life it is. Instead of the reception it had in Adelaide last year, where it filmed as a sing-a-lot. I’m shaking my head in disbelief.

As for The Castle. May it last a million years. May aliens see it and understand human life from watching it.

There. I can see that most people reading this will have to defriend me or something. Okay. At least I can more on, now that I’ve unburdened myself, more Oz movies to come.

3 thoughts on “Muriel’s Wedding Oz movie #24 and The Castle Oz movie #25

  1. Look. I can’t believe I’m explaining this to an Australian, but let’s do it a step at a time. Yes, she’s a pathetic, neurotic petty criminal and total loser. Yes, she’s more than happy to sell her body to the highest bidder while abandoning her best friend who desperately needs her help and support. But she LOVES ABBA! Now do you get it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • No!! I don’t. It isn’t sufficient. It is’t an explanation. It’s almost enough to put a die-hard ABBA fan off for life. –

      Like

      • I am going to have to revise all my ideas about Australia.

        I suppose this explains why Cardinal Pell didn’t just start singing Knowing Me And Knowing You when they sent him down for six years? I was wondering about that in fact.

        Liked by 1 person

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