Very few films achieve subliminal greatness with cross-cultural impact, but Walkabout
is one of those films--a visual tone poem that functions more as an allegory than a conventionally plotted adventure. Considered a cult favourite for years, Nicolas Roeg's 1971 film centres upon two British children who are rescued in the Australian outback by a young aborigine. Through exquisite cinematography and a story of subtle human complexity, the film continues to resonate on many thematic and artistic levels. Just as Roeg intended, it is a cautionary morality tale in which the limitations and restrictions of civilisation become painfully clear when the two children (played by Jenny Agutter and Roeg's young son, Lucien John) cannot survive without the aborigine's assistance. They become primitives themselves, if only temporarily, while the young aborigine proves ultimately and tragically unable to join the "family" of civilisation. With its story of two worlds colliding, Walkabout
now seems like a film for the ages, hypnotic and open to several compelling levels of interpretation. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com
United Kingdom released, Blu-Ray/Region B DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), English ( Dolby DTS-HD Master Audio ), English ( Dolby Surround ), English ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (1.78:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Interactive Menu, Scene Access, Uncut, SYNOPSIS: The contrast between modern, urban civilization and life in the natural world lies at the heart of Nicolas Roeg's visually dazzling drama Walkabout. In broad outline, the plot might resemble a standard fish-out-of-water tale: two city children become stranded in the Australian outback, and struggle to find their way back to civilization with the help of a friendly aborigine boy. But Roeg and screenwriter Edward Bond are concerned with far more than the average wilderness drama, as a shocking act of violence near the story's beginning makes clear. This is particularly true in regards to the relationship between the white children and the aborigine boy, who ultimately develops a troubled romantic attraction towards the older sister. Obviously intended as a statement on the exploitation of the natural world and native cultures by European civilization, the film nevertheless maintains an evocative vagueness that usually - but not always - favors poetry over didacticism. Most importantly, the film's justifiably acclaimed cinematography is likely to sway even those who find fault with the film's narrative and message. The shift between the sterile city images and the truly stunning, beautifully composed Australian landscapes provide the film's single best argument, making the film a vivid and convincing experience.
SCREENED/AWARDED AT: Cannes Film Festival, ...Walkabout (1971) ( Walk about ) (Blu-Ray)