Lucky Miles

March 6th, 2008 DVD Reviews, Film, Xpress

A comedy about three asylum seekers wandering the remote northern WA desert is very topical for our times in the same way poking fun at political institutions has always been.

Trouble is, Lucky Miles isn’t a comedy. It looks like it wants to be at times, but it ends up more suited to the genre of political polemic, and you’ll feel as shamed by the way your country treats asylum seekers as you do entertained.

By following a disparate group of foreigners as they scramble around the hot, dusty Pilbara — the men who’ve paid dodgy Indonesian fisherman to bring them and the fisherman themselves after their boat blows up and sinks — and showing us what they go through, we identify with them. The three main heroes, an Iraqi, a Cambodian and one of the Indonesian fishermen, go through hell in this strange, hot, empty country after coming all this way and you feel for them every step.

Strangely toneless, director Michael James Rowland apparently wants the endless scrub landscape to be the narrative anchor, while the plot and characterisations are never sure if they’re doing a heartbreaking story of struggle or a comic road movie. Masses of extras on the second disc include a director commentary that answers some of the riddles about what sort of film your watching, trailers, making of and deleted scenes.


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