The Castle

Castle, The (Rob Sitch, 1997) wr. Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner, Jane Kennedy, Rob Sitch; prod. Debra Choate, Michael Hirsh; Michael Caton (Darryl Kerrigan), Anne Tenney (Sal Kerrigan), Stephen Curry (Dale Kerrigan), Anthony Simcoe (Steve Kerrigan), Sophie Lee (Tracy Kerrigan), Wayne Hope (Wayne Kerrigan), Tiriel Mora (Dennis Denuto), Eric Bana (Con Petropoulous), Charles Tingwell (Lawrence Hammill), Robyn Nevin (Federal Court Judge), Costas Kilias (Farouk), Bryan Dawe (Ron Graham), Monty Maizels (Jack), Lynda Gibson (Evonne), John Bento (Mr. Lyle), Laurie Dobson (John Clifton), Stephanie Daniel (Council Officer), John Flaus (Sgt Kennedy); narrated from the point of view of one of the sons, Dale; 93 min.

Possibly the most popular Australian film ever (among Australians), it's actually cutting satire, but somehow appeals to nationalism. In his TV review, David Stratton gave it an unusually rating low of 1.5 stars, saying it was 'patronising' and reminded him of the Dad and Dave (of On Our Selection) films of years ago.

This is the sort of movie the British used to make in black and white, starring Peter Sellers, Alec Guinness, Terry-Thomas and Ian Carmichael. It's about characters who have a rock-solid view of the universe and their place in it, and gaze out upon the world from the high vantage point of the home that is their castle. The movie is not shocking or daring or vulgar, but sublimely content - as content as the Kerrigans when Mom not only serves pound cake for dessert but is so creative she actually tops it with icing sugar. At a time like that, she doesn't need to be told that she has kicked a goal. Roger Ebert.

Giggles and laughs are the aim and most of them work, at least for a warm and friendly home audience, while the low budget look matches the low budget ‘castle’ of the title, the Kerrigan’s humble home. The story concept has all the elements of a true blue comedy with the underlying emotional propellant mix of the ‘little battler agin the big business world’ and ‘our home is our castle’. What it lacks in production values it makes up in a committed cast who manage to make us care for them despite a bit of overacting ... Andrew Urban, Urban Cinefile.


Garry Gillard | New: 30 October, 2012 | Now: 22 September, 2016