Urban Cinefile
"Let the make up do the acting, yep, that's exactly what I did. I thought to myself, there's no reason to act like a dog or animal, or it'd get a bit unreal."  -Temuera Morrison on his role as a dog-creature in The Island of Dr Moreau
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday, December 5, 2017 

Search SEARCH FOR A DVD
Our Review Policy OUR REVIEW POLICY
Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE

Help/Contact

EMOH RUO: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Young married couple the Tunkleys, Terri (Joy Smithers) and Des (Martin Sacks), live in a seaside caravan park with their young son (Jack Ellis) but are desperate to have their own home. Seduced by Tregado Homes TV ads, the Tunkleys sell their small boat to have a deposit and raise a loan from Austral's Margaret York (Genevieve Mooy) to buy their dream house newly built by Sam Tregado (Max Phipps) on a new estate in the outer suburbs. But neither the house nor their newfound happiness is too solid and their lives deteriorate under the extra jobs they have to do to pay their loans.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
This was the debut feature for director Denny Lawrence and cinematographer Andrew Lesnie (who won the Oscar for The Lord of the Rings trilogy) and they both made a good fist of it. The story is scant but it's built on the foundations of the old Aussie ethos that owning your own home is the Big Dream. It's enough to drive the dramatic engine that propels the comedy. And it's the sort of story where other people's misfortune is the currency of the comedy.

Joy Smithers is scrumptious as the young, determined wife, who finds her dream of a home becomes nightmarish in the realisation. Martin Sacks is solid as her reluctant husband, delivering the film's straightest performance. While the support cast ham it up a bit, there is an entertaining tone maintained throughout, with some trivia spotting moments. For example, producer David Elfick plays a cameo as Margaret York's (Genevieve Mooy) suitor.

The film's DVD release, more than 20 years since its creation, is a welcome addition to the Australian archives and reminds us of those heady 80s, when housing was as unaffordable as it is today. Not that the film is in the same league as Robert Connolly's The Bank (2001) in which 'banks as bastards' was a heavy duty social comment. Emoh Ruo relies on stereotypes, but it does so with larrikin good humour, and lets us enjoy a big, lowbrow finish.

The two featurettes on the DVD, one with Elfick the other with the two writers, allow the filmmakers to reminisce, and the writers reveal how they stumbled onto the story in a round about way.

Published: September 5, 2007

Email this article

CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

EMOH RUO: DVD (M)
(Aust, 1985)

CAST: Joy Smithers, Martin Sacks, Philip Quast, Genevieve Mooy, Louise Le Ney, Max Phipps, Jack Ellis, Bill Young, Helen McDonald, Mervyn Drake, Richard Carter, Di Smith

PRODUCER: David Elfick

DIRECTOR: Denny Lawrence

SCRIPT: Paul Leadon, David Poltorak

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Andrew Lesnie

EDITOR: Ted Ötton

MUSIC: Cameron Allan

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Robert Dein

RUNNING TIME: 88 minutes

PRESENTATION: 4:3; DD 2.0

SPECIAL FEATURES: Producer David Elfick remembers; writers David Polorak & Paul Leadon remember; short film, Making The Weekend of Summer Last; trailer

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Home Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: September 5, 2007







© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2017