A story well-told, but not a masterpiece
- Ned Kelly review by Philip in Paradiso
This is the closest to a Western that Australian film can produce: the story of legendary outlaw Ned Kelly and his gang in 1870s Australia. Heath Ledger and Orlando Bloom do their bit to keep you interested, and the movie is fine overall, but it somehow lacks depth and intensity. There are some good action scenes and a captivating re-creation of the Australian wilderness, all the same.
The romantic tryst involving Naomi Watts is totally implausible and added on for no clear reason. (I don't know whether it is accurate historically, but very much doubt it.) And the film gives a one-sided account of Ned Kelly's goings-on: you are expected to feel sorry for him -- an impoverished Australian of Irish descent who is being picked upon by corrupt and violent police officers.
It is still a good film and I enjoyed watching it, but it is not a masterpiece. It is not bad at all, but it could have been so much better. I don't regret watching it, though.
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