Top positive review
16 people found this helpful
Flawed but very powerful anti-war film
on 7 December 2006
Uneven but powerful film about the First World War atrocity at Gallipoli where appalling incompetence by the generals lead to thousands of Australian soldiers being ordered above the trenches into direct Turkish gunfire. Gallipoli the film is also largely about the development of the unlikely friendship between country boy Archy Hamilton (Mark Lee) and the more streetwise Frank Dunne (Mel Gibson). United as outstanding, competing, athletic prospects Archy leads the more questioning Frank into joining up after they undertake an unscheduled desert trek to Perth.
Like most of the other rookie volunteers, the geographically isolated Archy is incredibly naïve about the war, seeing it as little more than a foreign adventure. After clearly inadequate training in Egypt, the two friends and their comrades land amidst spectacular gunfire in Turkey and are soon disgracefully ordered forward with sudden catastrophic results.
Made by renowned Australian director Peter Weir, the pointless waste of these young lives packs a very powerful punch. Less impressive is the film's development towards this climax with Archy and Frank's burgeoning friendship being under-developed on-screen. Gallipoli's lack of cohesiveness is also not helped by it already feeling dated, not least due to its horrible early 80s music interludes. Still it's a very powerful indictment of a terrible episode of army incompetence and despite its flaws, is well worth seeing.