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Australia 2000
Directed by
Aleksi Vellis
88 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
1 stars

The Wog Boy

It is often suggested that Australian cinema is too pre-occupied with art and not enough with box office, that it doesn't know its audience. This could not be said for Nick Giannopoulos the writer (with Chris Anastassiades), star and main force behind this commercially very successful film (it went to No 1 at the box office and took over $AU10m). The only problem with this exemplary financial outcome is that artistically it is god-awful. It does not attempt, for better or worse, to depict the 'ethnic' experience as do films like Looking For Alibrandi or Beware Of Greeks Bearing Guns, in a humourously thoughtful way, it simply relocates the 'little battler vs big bad guy' template (compare for example The Castle, 1997) to a sub-cultural context with stereotypical characters.

Given the film's success, one would be forgiven for expecting it to be funny. It's not and one can only suspect that the film did so well because of (a) Giannopoulos' success with his earlier 'wog' stage shows creating a pre-disposition to find what one wants to be funny, funny and (b) a sub-cultural appreciation of seeing oneself on screen kicking in to over-ride any form of discernment. The result is lambs to slaughter for this giant souvlaki.

On the up side, Vince Colosimo gives an energetic performance and Kim Gyngell is, as usual, excellent as a dole office clerk but if you do not see the world through 'wog' eyes or find stereotype humour amusing this is not likely to reward your attention.




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