Mullet

(2001)

Directed by David Caesar

Writing credits to David Caesar

Genre: Comedy / Drama

Cast:

Ben Mendelsohn

 

Eddie ãMulletä Maloney

Susie Porter

 

Tully

Andrew S. Gilbert

 

Peter Maloney

Belinda McClory

 

Kay

Tony Barry

 

Col

Kris McQuade

 

Gwen

Peta Brady

 

Robbie

Wayne Blair

 

James

Paul Kelman

 

Gary

Steve Le Marquand

 

Jones

Aaron Blabey

 

Terry

Jim Webb

 

Big Bloke

Nash Edgerton

 

Winger

Bryan Brown

 

Publican (voice)

Crew:

 

 

Producer

 

Vincent Sheehan

Original Music

 

Paul Healy

Cinematography

 

Robert Humphries

Film Editing

 

Mark Perry

Casting

 

Shauna Wolifson

Production Design

 

Elizabeth Mary Moore

Art Direction

 

Benay Ellison

Costume Design

 

Melinda Doring

Production Manager

 

Michelle Russell

Second Assistant Director

 

Kazmer Harangozo

First Assistant Director

 

John Titley

Dialogue Editor

 

Julius Chan

Sound

 

Liam Egan

Sound Recordist

 

Paul Finlay

Sound Re-recording Mixer

 

Phil Judd

Visual Effects Producer

 

Murray Pope

Location Manager

 

Della Churchill

Production Co-coordinator

 

Vanessa Critchley

Gaffer

 

Geoff Maine

Production Secretary

 

Tanya PHegan

Assistant editor

 

Peter Powell

Continuity

 

Linda Ray

Key Grip

 

Rod Reyes

Focus Puller

 

Kevin Scott

Release Dates and Details:

Australia:  June 28, 2001

UK:  July 6, 2002 (Commonwealth Film Festival)

Philippines:  September 20, 2003 (Australian Film Festival)

Box Office:

Opening figures:  $120, 280

Total $AUD:  $1,157,161

Production Details:

Production Companies

 

Australian Film Commission

 

 

New South Wales Film and Television Office

 

 

Porchlight

 

 

Premium Movie Partnership

 

 

SBS Independent

 

 

Showtime Australia

 

Distributors

 

 

Dendy Films Australia

 

 

The Globe Film Company Australian

Cast and Crew History: 

CAST FILMOGRAPHY:

David Caesar (director)

Director Filmography:

Fireflies

2004

TV Series

Crashburn

2003

TV Series

Bad Cop, Bad Cop

2002

TV Series( episodes 5-8)

Dirty Deeds

2002

Feature Film

Mullet

2001

Feature Film

Stingers

1998

TV Series

All Saints

1998

TV Series

Halifax F.P.

1997

TV Series

Wildside

1997

TV Series

Twisted Tales

1996

TV Series

Idiot Box

1996

Feature Film

Water Rats

1996

TV Series

The Feds

1993

TV Film

Greenkeeping

1992

Feature Film

Body Works

1988

Feature Film

Writer - Filmography 

Dirty Deeds

2002

 

Mullet

2001

 

Idiot Box

1996

 

Greenkeeping

1992

 

Robert Humphries (Cinematographer)

Cinematographer - Filmography 

Fat Cow Motel

2003

TV Series

Walking On Water

2002

 

Mullet

2001

 

Confessions of a Headhunter

2000

 

Stolen Generations

2000

 

The Diplomat

2000

 

Joy

2000

 

Flowergirl

1999

 

Help Me

1999

 

The Pitch

1998

 

The Christmas Cake

1996

 

Vincent Sheehan (Producer)

Producer - Filmography 

Little Fish

2005

 

Mullet

2001

 

The Sapphire Room

1997

 

CAST FILMOGRAPHY

Ben Mendelsohn (Eddie 'Mullet' Maloney)

Second Chance

2004

TV

Black and White

2002

 

Mullet

2001

 

Child Star: The Shirley Temple Story

2001

TV

Vertical Limit

2000

 

Sample People

2000

 

Secret Menâs Business

1999

TV

Queen Kat, Carmel and St Jude

1998

TV Mini-series

Amy

1998

 

True Love and Chaos

1997

 

Close-ups

1996

TV Series

Idiot Box

1996

 

Cosi

1996

 

Halifax F.P.

1995

TV: ãMy Lovely Girlä

Metal Skin

1994

 

Sirens

1994

 

Say a Little Prayer

1993

 

Map of The Human Heart

1993

 

Spotswood

1992

 

Quigley Down Under

1990

 

The Big Steal

1990

 

Nirvana Murder Street

1990

 

Return Home

1990

 

This Man·This Woman

1989

 

Lover Boy

1988

 

All the Way

1988

TV Mini Series

Neighbours

1985

TV Series

The Year My Voice Broke

1987

 

Fame and Misfortune

1986

TV Series

Prime Time

1986

TV Series

The Henderson Kids

1985

TV Series

The Still Point

1985

 

Notable TV Guest Appearances

Farscape

1999

Episode # 3.19

Love Is a Four Letter Word

2001

Episode # 1.23

Good Guys, Bad Guys

1997

Episode # 1.9

Snowy McGregor

1993

Episode # 3.5

Police Rescue

1990

Episode # 4.13

The Flying Doctors

1986

Episode # 2.14 and 5.22

Special Squad

1984

Episode # 1.14

Susie Porter (Tully) 

State Of Play

2003

TV Mini-Series

Sway

2002

 

Teesh and Trude

2002

 

Star Wars:Episode II

2002

 

Mullet

2001

 

Bootmen

2000

 

Monkeyâs Mask

2000

 

Better Than Sex

2000

 

Feeling Sexy

1999

 

Two Hands

1999

 

Aftershocks

1998

Tv Series

Amy

1998

 

Welcome to Woop Woop

1997

 

Paradise Road

1997

 

Mr Reliable

1996

 

Idiot Box

1996

 

 

 

 

Herself - Filmography

Cleo Bachelor 2002: Real Men Revealed (2002) (TV)  .... Herself
... aka Cleo Bachelor of the Year (2002) (TV) (Australia)

ANDREW S GILBERT (Peter Maloney)

Actor - Filmography 

Ned Kelly

2003

 

The Real Thing

2002

 

Dirty Deeds

2002

 

Rabbit Proof Fence

2002

 

Mullet

2001

 

The Dish

2000

 

In A Savage Land

1999

 

Paperback Hero

1999

 

Justice

(1998/II)

 

Oscar and Lucinda

1997

 

Kiss or Kill

1997

 

Idiot Box

1996

 

The Custodian

1993

 

No Worries

1993

 

Shotgun Wedding

1993

 

Deadly

1991

 

Sweet Talker

1991

 

 

 

 

Belinda McClory (Kay)

Actress ö Filmography:

Dark Love Story

2004

 

Cubbyhouse

2001

 

Mullet

2001

 

Redball

1999

 

The Matrix

1999

 

Hotel de Love

1996

 

Life

1996

 

 

 

 

Awards and Recognition:

Official Selection Shanghai International Film Festival 2002

Winner Best Direction Shanghai International Film Festival 2002

Winner Best Script Australian Writers Guild Awards 2001

Film Critics Circle of Australia (2002)

Nominated for:  Best Film

Best Actor, Ben Mendelsohn

Best Director, David Caesar

Awarded: Best Supporting Actor to Andrew S. Gilbert (Peter Maloney)

Best Screenplay to David Caesar

Australian Film Institute Awards (2001)

Nominated for:  Best Actor, Ben Mendelsohn

Best Supporting Actor, Andrew S. Gilbert

Best Supporting Actress, Belinda McClory

Best Achievement in Direction, David Caesar

Best Original Screenplay, David Caesar

Research

The interviews were particularly difficult to find, and after endless searching I discovered that there were no full interviews with David Caesar on his film Mullet, but there were several regarding his other films. Looking for reviews and information, Google was very helpful, but I found other search engines such as Ninemsn, goEureka, Altavistaand Yahoo proved to be less successful. The IMdb website was helpful with locating reviews.

Synopsis

As taken from the www.mullet.net.au website.


Life in the small NSW coastal fishing town of Coollawarra is disrupted when former football hero and local larrikin Eddie ÎMulletâ Maloney returns to face everything that he walked out on three years ago.
At first, things seem to be just as Mullet left them. His dad Col is still coaching the local footy team and Îhappilyâ not speaking to his mum, Gwen, who is just as Îhappyâ. His older brother Pete is still the incorruptible local cop, still the all-round nice guy who Mullet thought was bound to finish last. Kay still serves beers down the pub, and still looks for love
in all the wrong places, trying to extinguish that torch she still carries for Mullet. And the old row boat is just where Mullet left it, by the river near the old caravan.
However Mullet quickly discovers that all is not the same and people have moved on. Especially his old flame, Tully, the feisty young woman he walked out on three years ago and who is now married. Slowly trouble starts to mount. Mullet turns on his mates, estranges his parents and takes the daring step of calling on Tully, placing doubt in her mind about her marriage.
Solution.? A good old Aussie BBQ - beers and burnt meat. If everyone can all act 'nice and normal' everything will be fine...
MULLET is a disarmingly honest new Australian comedy/drama, a sometimes painful, often funny look at love, family and relationships.
Its universal story of the search for a place to belong, and is told with a winning charm, a knockabout Australian sense of humour and a bit of singing. 

Details of on-site location and productions, are taken from http://www.mullet.net.au/mullet_about_location.html

Mullet was shot on location in Kiama and the Illawarra district of the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia over 4 weeks in June 2000.

Like most productions, the original shooting schedule combined some location shooting on the South Coast with all the interiors (and some exteriors) cheated in Sydney to save costs - this is a standard approach. However once the film was financed, it became increasingly clear to the filmmakers that post MI:2 & Matrix, Sydney was an expensive city to shoot in.

With the assistance of Film Illawarra (an organisation formed to encourage film production in the region), we were able to secure considerable support from the local councils as well as the Chamber of Commerce. But it was really the warm welcome and enthusiasm shown by the locals that sealed the deal. The people of Kiama and the Illawarra region gave us open access and offered new insights into the real world - the real people of the South Coast - and you can feel it on the screen. The variety in locations was quite extraordinary.

Review

ãPeople on the outside think small towns are full of rednecks, gossip, wisdom and preserved fruit, and although thereâs some of that there, thatâs not all itâs about. Its about people trying to get on with one another, and petty scandals, and people leaving. But now itâs about someone coming backä

In the opening scene of the film, mullets are written off as unwanted, a nuisance, something that tastes bad, and is only good for feeding to the chooks. This opening scene establishes the mullet as a metaphor for the unwanted.

Ben Mendelsohn plays Eddie Maloney, otherwise known as Mullet, the local larrikin of the Coollawarra Crows football team who returns to town after three years absence. Upon his return he is faced with many issues he was probably not expecting, and at the very least dreading, in regards to his family life and his ex-girlfriend Tully (Susie Porter). When he first arrived in the town, it appeared that nothing had changed: the townspeople are still down at the local football match on the weekends, his parents are still arguing and his familyâs caravan hasnât changed a bit. Of course he refuses to admit to anything regarding his past, remaining as vague and distant as possible, using humour to distract people from his past and his problems.

The film has a round-about way of getting to the point of Mulletâs return, by avoiding the issue that is facing the central characters. It is something no-one is willing to talk about, therefore leaving the audience in the dark as to the point of Mulletâs return. The viewer can easily perceive the discomfort that Mullet thrives on causing in Coollawarra, but the origins of their contempt are unknown for the first quarter of the film, leaving the audience to assume only that Mullet left on bad terms. The unidentified whereabouts of Mullet in the three years he was absent are only confused more by the rumours of his football career, writing career and producing career, all of which are vastly untrue.

The vague yet humorous personality trait that Ben Mendelsohn creates as Eddie Maloneyâs is commonly portrayed in Australian films, and is a useful way of covering information from the audience for a period of time while still being relevant to the storyline. But Eddie realises just how much things had changed when he is told that Tully has gotten married to his brother Pete while he had been gone. Although giving the film suspense to a degree, it does not provide a great deal of anticipation for the audience. The mystery surrounding Mulletâs life are built up considerably at the start of the film, only to be seemingly forgotten about later on, as the focus switches to why he left, in particular his past relationship with Tully, and not where he had been. As time goes on, Tully gets more and more distressed, torn between Mullet and his brother (and her husband) Pete. She appears to keep up a constant guard about Mullet, trying to seem as nonchalant as possible, despite it being obvious that his return has affected her greatly.

A significant point in the film is when Mullet stays the night at Kayâs, something he didnât seem to think too much about, but to which she took great offense. Mullet proceeds to tell her that by sleeping together everything would be different, not necessarily in a bad way, and in retaliation, Kay tells Eddie that no-one in town wants ãhis stupid fishä. The next day Eddie goes back to the fish market with his catch of mullet, possibly by means of proving Kay wrong, but also to give another speech to Robbie on his philosophies of life, this time addressing the relation between a goldfishâs memory to a life being new and therefore seemingly perfect.

When Eddie and Tully finally get to talk about him leaving her with no explanation, she opens her heart to him about her and Peter, while Eddie can only be impertinent in his reply, asking her ãWhat about love?ä Eddieâs holds a lot of respect for the people around him, although he shows it in a uniquely Australian way. He makes jokes, and uses sarcasm to hide his discomfort, allowing him to show his respect for people in ways that the others do not realise.

The relationship between Mulletâs parents is shown early in the film as rocky, which gives great reason for Eddieâs own attitude towards relationships. However by the barbeque towards the end of the film, it is obvious that despite appearing unhappy in their marriage, they are actually perfect for each other. Eddieâs father speaks about his wife:

ãDo you wanna know what I know about love? Iâll tell ya. Some mornings I wake up next to your mother and I think, who the bloody hell are you? And there are other mornings I wake up and I look at her and I think ÎThank Christ youâre here, cause at least I know where I am.â Its about taking the good with the bad, cause you donât get one without the other.ä

The significance of this speech applies greatly to the scene that is about to occur, where Tully appears with Peteâs gun and announces her pregnancy amid tears. It is at this point that Mullet realises that all of the anguish and indecision he has carried about Tully is worthless now, as she knows that the place for her is with Peter, and not himself. He

Observations:

There seem to be a lot of things about Eddie that are vague from the first time that we see him. In his conversation with the driver he was elusive as to his whereabouts for the past three years, and I thought that he would overcome this soon, but it is apparent that he has achieved nothing while he was away from his home town and returned, not out of loyalty but to sort out his unfinished business. It is frustrating at times watching Mullet interact with people, sometimes it seems he holds too much respect for others and himself to say anything at all. Body language is imperative to Mulletâs relationships, and the few words he does actually speak are thought out and often repetitive. BenMendelsohnâs almost cheeky appearance adds a necessary spark to his character, which would have been destroyed by any other actor. The honesty in the face of Andrew S. Gilbert is perfect for his character, adding an Aussie charm and reliability to Peteâs personality.

Although the film is said to be slow-moving and anti-climatic, the final scenes at the barbeque successfully finalise the issues that Eddie has been attempting to deal with throughout the whole film. his final car ride with Kay leads to the idea that Kay and Eddie have something between them more than friendship, but leaves it open for interpretation. A lot of the tensions that have arose during the film were resolved. It was obvious by the end of the film that there were no problems with Eddieâs parentsâ relationship; it was just made out to be nothing but a bit of joking around between the two of them. This alone brought a sense of finality to the close of the film, while the pregnancy of Tully ended anything that could have occurred between herself and Mullet. the first time that I remember watching this film, I recall being happy that Tully and Mullet wouldnât get back together, and then that the movie only really finished when Mullet and Kay discovered that they had feelings for each other, as much as they hated to admit it. When I watched Mullet in class this year, it had been a couple of years since I had last seen it, and I found myself laughing at the same parts: where the parents are fighting through their son as I could relate to the humour as it is in my family situation. Being able to relate to a film and its characters is one of the best aspects of Australian films, because not only can you relate to their circumstances, but you can usually associate the area of the films location to a memory or even another film, therefore making the film much more personal. What I love about Mullet is that Eddie is so lovable and dislikable at the same time: I love his wit and quick thinking, but sometimes the way he deals with people he loves makes me hate him. The way that Mullet handles himself is so realistic, while the emotions of Tully are so strong that I find it hard to dislike her character. Eddie tries to make the audience hate Tully, blaming her for getting together with his brother, when really what Eddie finds hardest to face is that itâs all his fault. What this film able to show us is that while it is so easy to judge other people, it is even harder to judge yourself and admit your own mistakes, especially to yourself.

David Caesar has the ability to create strong characters which the audience is able to relate to, and despite the film being 10 years in the making, it is still relevant in so many ways to country life as it is today.

Critical Review

The reviews for Mullet fall clearly into two categories: upbeat and positive, or negative and unwilling to give any compliments to the film. The first 8 reviews all praise David Caesar, and the casting decisions made with Ben Mendelsohn, Susie Porter and Andrew S. Gilbert. The final three reviews are so incredibly negative, it makes you wonder if it is the same film that is being reviewed. These reviews had nothing nice to say about the film, which is odd considering how much praise that the film received. It is also notable that the negative reviews were taken from international reviewers, while the Australian critics were able to find the many good points of the film.

http://www.iofilm.co.uk/fm/m/mullet_2000.shtml

-This review seems to be written by an angry English person who doesnât have any idea of the Australian humour and way of life. By saying ãMovies that aim for realism should still have some humour. Mullet has none at all.ä This person seems to have little knowledge of anything Australian, and is doing their best to put the movie down without discussing anything positive that it achieves.

http://hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=4704

-Mullet ãcomes across as REAL and poignantly funny, as opposed to embarrassingly laughableä. This review is remarkably more upbeat than others, despite disliking Eddieâs lack of depth and crediting the casting decisions.

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/click/movie-10001302/reviews.php?critic=all&sortby=default&page=1&rid=295975

-This review is positive towards Mullet and the charcterisation and overall mood of the film, suggesting that the film the film conveys much more than is said. An overall positive outlook on Mullet, with credits to David Caesar.

http://www.sbs.com.au/movieshow/reviews.php3?id=718

-'Provides a rich microcosm of contemporary Australia'

http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/review/film/s326317.htm

-'true-hearted universal themes and a settled confident style'

http://www.abc.net.au/newcastle/stories/s339900.htm

-'A little Aussie pearler· and the results are terrific!'

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/click/movie-10001302/reviews.php?critic=all&sortby=default&page=1&rid=820832

- Honest, witty and grounded: a global theme with a familiar feeling.

http://www.shadowsonthewall.co.uk/swmullet.htm

- A perfectly formed little film that doesn't resort to cliches in any way.

http://sunday.ninemsn.com.au/sunday/film_reviews/article_834.asp

- A tremendously engaging film

http://www.femail.co.uk/pages/standard/article.html?in_article_id=104962

- An aimless tale, predictable every step of the way.

http://www.aufs.org/reviews/film/mullet.html

- This review thinks that Mullet doesnât really achieve anything but it is an obvious Australian film that is modestly average.

http://www.channel4.com/film/reviews/film.jsp?id=106225

- describes Eddie as the singularly most unsympathetic character, unembraceable, yet rewarding as a glimpse of Australian life that has nothing to do withErinsborough.

http://www.abc.net.au/rn/arts/atoday/stories/s317941.htm

- Part of an interview with David Caesar

http://www.sensesofcinema.com/contents/01/14/mullet.html

- Critique by John Flaus

Interviews:

Interviews with David Caesar are extremely difficult to find, and I was unable to find any regarding Mulletâs release. There seemed to be several articles on the UrbanCinefilewebsite, but since I do not have a subscription I was not able to view them in full text. If you have a subscription, then the interview is available athttp://www.urbancinefile.com.au/home/view.asp?a=4991&s=Interviews

There are many interviews available online regarding David Caesarâs previous film Idiot Box, but there seems to be little available on Mullet without a subscription.

Online Presence:

I used the following search engines to find relevant information on the film and its cast and crew, along with reviews:

Google

Altavista

GoEureka

Yahoo

Ninemsn

They all provided me with greatly varied results, with Google giving the widest variety of results. I also used some of the links provided on the MED231 site to gain information on Mullet.

Position in Australian Cinema:

Mullet has the ability for the audience to relate to the characters and it is this trait which classifies it as typically Australian. Other Australian films such as The Castle andMuriels Wedding are perfect examples of the stereotypical Australian life, and although Mullet cannot be put into the same category as these two films, they all fit into the same genre: Drama/Comedy. This is the official genre released with Mullet, and it is interesting to note that these films are all distinctively different and unique. In comparison, Mullet takes a much darker approach to life in general and uses sarcastic humour to provide laughs, while in other Australian films, the audience is made to laugh at the characters, and not with them. Despite sounding like a negative standpoint of Mullet, it is a standout quality of David Caesarâs to allow the audience to laugh with Eddie Maloney, and not at his antics. In relation to other typically Australian films, Mullet provides people with an obscure view of the life of a ãlone rangerä type character returning to his home town.

Links:

http://www.moviemarshal.com/

-Box Office details and Mullets ranking for year/overall (#129 for year 2001)

www.afc.gov.au/australianfilmsandawards

- Details of film awards and nominations in Australia

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0261842/

- Details on Mullet, production cast and crew.

http://www.madmancinema.com.au/CatItem.php?CatNo=MMA2015

- Video information on Mullet.

www.mullet.net.au

  - The official Mullet website.