14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
One of the best films of 2006,
This review is from: The Proposition [DVD] (DVD)
Switching the western genre to the Australian outback, Nick Cave provides here a meaty and rivetting script as the framework of one of the year's most visually stunning and musically haunting films. Cave, whose slowly evolving style has come to excell at capturing the poetry of the human condition, be it in his lyrics or prose, has carved out here a fantastic exploration of the ever-important questions surrounding the nature of loyalty, violence, justice, retribution and morality. The Proposition, whose plot is described in other reviews, serves to illustrate the absurdity of punitive justice as a means towards a more moral society, and roundly rejects to portray conflicts between people as simplistic good versus evil divides. Cleverly woven into all this are traditional themes of the hero tale and an unflinching confrontation with the nature of violence as a means to a morally good end. The film's failure to deliver the viewer from a predicable ending is only of secondary importance, given the gravity of its subject matter, its ghostly atmospheric setting, and exemplary performances, particularly from Ray Winston, whose character's struggle with the division of loyalties between the law, his wife and his humanity is conveyed masterfully. Detail and the diverse range of references to feminism, empire, and Christianity make this film a delight to behold and adorn its completely engrossing plot, whilst prompting the audience to reconsider some conventional wisdoms that too often slip past us unquestioned. I am grateful for such contributions to the film world, and call for more efforts like this one. Highly recommended.