The Proposition (2005)


A western set in the Australian outback, the proposition in question is made by Ray Winstone, a local police captain intent on civilising the unkempt wilderness. He threatens to hang the younger brother of ex-outlaw Guy Pearce unless he hunts down and kills his older brother, a brutal rapist and murderer.

The Proposition looks wonderful and having being written and scored by cult singer songwriter Nick Cave, sounds wonderful too. But somehow, it didn’t quite gel for me. The characters are interesting and the dialogue clever, but the relationships between the characters weren’t quite there; it seemed like a collection of self-consciously “cool” individuals and situations rather than a narrative flow. It’s very low key in a similar way to The Assassination Of Jesse James and the sudden outbursts of graphic and brutal violence certainly grab the attention, but it concentrated too much on an unconvincing Ray Winstone and his wife rather than the far more interesting outlaws.

The Proposition is certainly a film that is worth seeing, but it falls a little short of being great.


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