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Rebellious teenager Ned Kelly (Heath Ledger) is wrongfully imprisoned for stealing a horse and, when he returns to the bosom of his large Irish family, finds that the police won't let him go straight. After being accused of a crime he didn't commit, Kelly is left with no option but to go on the run. Accompanied by his gang (among them Orlando Bloom) he robs banks to survive and also to try and get the money together to free his family from prison. There is some considerable romanticising of the story and the man himself, due in part to Ledger's affable Robin Hood-esque working-class hero portrayal. Bloom is wide-eyed and daring as Kelly's main man, and Naomi Watts as his married mistress has the thankless task of breaking up some great action sequences to play the unnecessary love interest. --Kristen Bowditch
Although at times the film strays from historical fact, most notably with Ned Kelly's love interest (played by Naomi Watts), the changes - even if not entirely necessary - do work, and the film has much to offer with its stunning cinematography and cast performances.
Heath Ledger's performance as Ned Kelly is to his credit, Orlando Bloom shines as Joe Byrne, and actors Laurence Kinlan and Phil Barantini both deliver extremely promising performances as Dan Kelly and Steve Hart respectively.
Combined, the acting and cinematography contribute to make this an extremely moving and beautifully done film, and it therefore comes highly recommended.
The DVD extras consist of a short documentary on Ned Kelly, with particular focus on the various cinematic portrayals of the Kelly Gang, along with some photos which include artist conceptions, theatrical posters and a Kelly Gang gallery. There's no doubt that more extras - such as cast interviews, audio commentaries and/or a 'making of' featurette - would have been a worthy addition, but what has been included, although limited, is still of great interest.