Starring: Guy Pearce, Rachel Griffiths, Damien Richardson,
Joel Edgerton and Robert Taylor
Directed/written by: ScottRoberts
The Hard Word is an oddly dark comedy. It's that singularly
Aussie brand of humor that sails across the Pacific every once
corrupt this little criminal yarn arrives complete with a special
vernacular, "Butcher's Babble" dolloped within (fear
not it's subtitled during the brief incoherent verbal bits) and
good old fashioned Australian acting talents.
cast is perfection, truly, but the script needed some fine tuning
to glue the caliber of actor to the scenes properly. It's a twisting
story that sometimes farts along with a sloven stale dullness.
And one gets the feeling these leaden parts are due to incomplete
character connections and odd plot movements that are more developed
inside writer and first time director Scott Roberts' head then
laid out before us. Shame because this could have been positively
(Guy Pearce in a nose piece ala Nicole Kidman- thusly toning down
his viciously handsome looks) is the smartest of three rather
Stooge-like crime brothers. His siblings, Mal (Damien Richardson)
and Shane (Joel Edgerton) follow his lead, which seems to involve
long bouts within prison walls.
has it all figured out though prison life is all part of the greater
picture. The boys work with corrupt police and simply (no pun
intended) need to do time for appearances
meet the lads, as they are sprung and dining on a café
meal. They've been out about an hour and they are planning the
next job thanks to their "coordinator" and attorney
Frank (Robert Taylor).
got friends in really high places and fixes it so the team can
get the job done and bee set
but there's a snag. They are
caught and thanks to a clerical faux pas back to jail they go.
But, if the guy's agree to do a nearly impossible job - in which
the warden has a share - they can get out permanently.
wigs. He knows there is more to the story but figures he can figure
that out a whole lot better with the millions they'll steal and
of course from outside the prison walls...so he plays the game.
He also highly suspects his trash dressed tough tart of a wife,
Carol (Rachel Griffith), and frisky Frank may be playing a bit
of bed rugby. On top of all these growing twitches now Frank's
gone and adding two menacing odd chaps to the heist's team. The
whole thing's a tad on the suspicious side.
Who are the good guys? Are there any good guys? Remember this
is an Australian film their criminal lads often bleed over into
practically cultural heroes. And who's gonna get the money? the
tart? The attorney? The brothers three?
Pearce really rules the day here. He does a fantabulous job of
keeping it all real - even when his siblings are a bit cartoonish
within all the mayhem. Rachel Griffiths' wife character Carol
as the catty sex vixen is done fine. But their everlasting till-death-do-them-part
bond just doesn't gel.
couple of notable talents were spotted frolicking about in the
film as well; Damien Richardson and this slab of Aussie mansteak
of yum Joel Edgerton. They managed to take characters sketched
from a vaudevillian bad-guy stereotypes and breathe a bit of humanity
into them. That's talent.
fun part of the whole piece is the upside down under theory by
Scott Roberts that, "crime does pay" and pay handsomely