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CASTLE, THE: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Life is pretty good for the Kerrigans, an (almost) ordinary Australian family living next to the main runway of a busy Australian airport. Darryl Kerrigan (Michael Caton), is happy living in his modest home with his family - his wife Sal (Anne Tenney) and sons Dale (Stephen Curry) and Steve (Anthony Simcoe). Daughter Tracy (Sophie Lee) has recently left home to be married. Expansion plans for the airport means the adjacent houses, like the Kerrigans', have to go. But to Darryl, his home is his castle and he hires low rent lawyer Dennis (Tiriel Mora) to defend them. Their problems seem unsurmountable, though, until retired constitutional lawyer (Charles 'Bud' Tingwell) takes an interest in the Kerrigans' plight, taking their case to the High Court.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Giggles and laughs are the aim and most of them work, at least for a warm and friendly home audience, while the low budget look matches the low budget 'castle' of the title, the Kerrigan's humble home. The story concept has all the elements of a true blue comedy with the underlying emotional propellant mix of the 'little battler against the big business world' and 'our home is our castle'.

The recognisable working class suburban lifestyle, amiably spoofed at times, shows Australia is still a lucky country where working class folk can live in relative comfort. The film has a big heart, but it doesn't let that get in the way of its comedic intentions. What makes the film work as a comedy is the deep seated and serious subject at hand: the bullying of the little man by big corporations and the appeal to our instinct for a fair go.

Astute observations about Australian lifestyles spice up the script, and the lack of pretention works as a kind of rustic charm throughout.

What it lacks in production values it makes up in a committed cast who manage to make us care for them despite a bit of overacting - except for the terrific Tiriel Mora, who is star material. If this low budget experiment in home-made movies works (that is, it is popular enough to recoup the investment of under $1 million) the next two features from this team (creators of the excellent Frontline TV series) will be only the start. (Their efforts are reminiscent of Roger Corman, the king of low budget US independent films - but his were far more exploitative.) Credit, too, to Alan Finney at Roadshow for nursing the project into commercial existence.

Published: August 19, 2004

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STEPHEN CURRY INTERVIEW

CASTLE, THE: DVD (M15+)
(Aust, 1997)

CAST: Michael Caton, Anne Tenney, Stephen Curry, Anthony Simcoe, Sophie Lee, Wayne Hope, Tiriel Mora, Eric Bana, Charles (Bud) Tingwell

DIRECTOR: Rob Sitch

SCRIPT: Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner, Jane Kennedy, Rob Sitch

RUNNING TIME: 82 minutes

PRESENTATION: Widescreen

SPECIAL FEATURES: None

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: August 19, 2004







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