Charlie's Country follows the story of Charlie (David Gulpilli), an Aboriginal man living poorly in a rural Australian community. He wants a job, a proper house and decent food, none of which he's getting permission to acquire. He's dying and he's had enough. One day he decides to take off into the bush and live the old ways, but in doing so Charlie causes a series of events which will make even greater changes to his life than he expected them to do so.
Australia has been at their top game in the filmmaking industry lately. In the past couple of years, Australia has made a series of masterful movies. Movies that are unforgettable. We've seen the likes of The Great Gatsby, The Rover and now Charlie's Country. This film is about an Australian, and it's made for Australians. We're diluted from our regular lives and brought into this tale of hope and freedom. It's a triumphant tale and one that I consider to be a necessary watch for all Australian cinephiles, young and old.
David Gulpilli is marvellous as Charlie. Gulpilli is really what makes this movie. His performance is absolutely breathtaking as we witness his struggles, his achievements and we root for him. There wasn't a moment in this entire movie where I wasn't hoping he'd get what he wanted. When things go from bad to worse, it's heartbreaking. They managed to hit the emotional string that was laying idle at the time. Not only did they hit it, but they beat it. A scene towards the end of the second act which involves a dispute between Charlie and a car had me in utter awe.
The third act lingers on and overstays its welcome. I will most definitely not be spoiling the events of the third act, but it drags on for just a little too long. The event happens and it's executed great, but it then gets a bit repetitive and dull. We go from these sensational first two acts to this above average third. Although I must give the film credit for not going in the direction that it felt as if it were heading earlier on in the film. The way they really went made a much deeper emotional impact, even if it runs for too long.
To sum up, Charlie's Country is more proof that Australia is at the top of their filmmaking game. David Gulpilli's performance is marvellous, the film's intriguing and emotionally investing, even if the third act lingers.
3 1/2 Stars