Broken Hill (2009)

Friday, January 25, 2013

What drew me to this, I don’t know. Apart from the fact that I am constantly on the lookout for wholesome entertainment and its leading lady, it held the promise of a poetic piece of filming and apart from its few flaws, it does portray a sense of poetry in motion.

Growing up in a remote part of the world sometimes makes you lonely. And sometimes it limits dreams. That is exactly where Tommy (Luke Arnold) is right now. He grew up in the Australian outback, working long days on his families’ sheep farm and though it has taught him values in life, it did nothing to hamper his plans of one day leaving farming behind. Dreaming of one day becoming a renowned composer and attending the Sydney Conservatorium, he has an uphill battle ahead of him.   

Harboring a crush on his American classmate, Kat Rogers (Alexa Vega) – an impetuous girl of comfortable living, she has always captured Tommy’s attentions… but nothing he does captures hers. Instead Kat doesn’t seem interested in having Tommy as a friend, so in further attempts to gain her favor, he lands himself in a whole passel of trouble with the law.  

Since this was in theaters it has a certain impressive quality to it, even in its lowly moments. In more than just one element, whether it was in its plotting or genuine passion did the movie surprise me. It adopts a kind of lovely melodic tone that isn’t often experienced in stories. The actors and story had a beautiful way of expressing the emotions and subplots onto the screen but it isn’t perfect either – like everything. The opening – and later on, finds Tommy imaginatively conducting a symphony but the introduction of the musicians as they appear are kind of strange being as they are terribly misplaced; once on the ball field and another time out in the outback. At first, its kind of style seemed horribly misplaced and a little off-kilter, but on reflection, it was actually unique to the story and it might be believable that someone so musically talented and inclined could hear “music” in the simple sounds of nature that surround us. (To give credit one had to admire the vision of filmmakers.) Its transitions are decent in going from the “real” setting to Tommy’s envisioning his compositions coming to life, needing only to have a “beat” (such as the clank of a metal fence post being driven into the ground) in order to be inspired.  

Fortunately most any age should be comfortable with the potential detrimental content herein since. Kat is a spitfire who still manages to be likable… somehow. Most the characters are realistic in terms of the audience relating to some of their emotional turmoil. Tommy and Kat develop a nice rapport (it was nice that no one really gave up on Tommy as so many stories would have – Kat was willing to challenge him where he wasn’t) as does he with the men of the prison. Its only real failing is a mildly annoying blimp that appears on the screen at intervals every minute or two. Since this is the second technical malfunction to happen in my viewing choices of late, I found it ironic, although this time it isn’t nearly as bothersome, making the movie still enjoyable no matter what. Broken Hill tends towards a slower gait than the typical teen love story but boasts some breathtaking, gorgeous shots of the desolate scenery – and probably has more empathy than most.

(Rated PG: Teens participate in one instance of vandalism after one of them coheres the driver into “helping.” Tommy and Kat share a couple of sweet kisses; Kat wears some immodest clothing and in general, is wild. There are two phone calls overheard of a married couple fighting. Plus there is the added addition of Tommy and Kat spending time in the prison; Kat is uncomfortable with it and is creeped out by one of the prisoner’s stares, she finally tells him to stop; likening herself to a “prostitute,” assuming that to be the reasoning.)


  1. I've heard of this movie,but haven't watched it yet. Thanks for the review!

    1. My pleasure, Ella. It's an interesting film to say the least. :)

  2. I have never even heard of this movie- I cannot believe how much Alexa Vega has grown since Spy kids:-)

    1. It is fun to watch child actors grow when you saw them first in their early roles! Have you seen Alexa in the Jane Austen S&S contemporary re-telling? It's cute but Austen purists probably take issue with it. :)

      This one is interesting if not relatively slow-moving.

      Thanks for dropping by, Shay - visit again anytime!

  3. Rissi... this one looks interesting. Wonder if anyone has ever played it on TV? Hmmm? Maybe someday!

    Also, I love your comment box beneath your postings. Mine used to be, but I took it away and since then, I've tried everything to put it back, but it just doesn't work. I've adjusted html code, clicked all the right boxes - nothing! Uggghhhh!!! Maybe I need to try it again - cuz I really like the way yours looks!!!

    Have a Great Day!!!

    1. It was, Net Movie Blogger. At times, it moves a bit slow but one has to take into account its "artistic" story-telling. Hope you can find it on TV sometime; it was one that Dove "approved."

      Thanks! I recently changed to this comment form (used to be like yours) but thought perhaps this was a bit more "personal" to respond and that is what I've always wanted to do.

      Have you gone under the "settings" category and then "posts and comments"? That's how mine was changed - it was switched from "pop-up" to "embedded" and seems to work okay. Hope you can figure it out - it's true that this is nicer if you like to be more inter-active with readers. Best of luck!

  4. I've had this one sitting in my NetFlix Instant Queue for several months, but I've never gotten around to watching it because I simply didn't really know anything about it. I'm glad to hear it's worth watching....I guess I'll leave it in my queue and plan on watching it one of these days. :)

    Thanks for the review, Rissi!

    1. Though I don't use Netflix I have many movies like that also, Valerie. I'll walk the new release wall and pass a movie ten times before finally renting it. Usually they aren't ones that I am *dying* to see in the first place but the premise intrigues me.

      Hope you enjoy if/when you see it - and thank you for reading, Valerie. :)


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