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Highly effective retelling of the Anzac attempt to take control of Gallipoli in Turkey during the First World War. Peter Weir directs a sprightly Mel Gibson
Inevitably, the events depicted in Weir's intimate epic of World War I mean more to the antipodeans for whom it is part of their culture and history. But Williamson's screenplay makes sure that the human element is equally important in the presentation of the two lads, Archy (Lee) and Frank (Gibson), who join the army and become rivals (as sprinters) and friends.
The film shapes up into an affirmative first section, a needlessly jingoistic centrepiece and a staggeringly effective finale, in which the disastrous campaign to take control of the Dardanelles ends in massive tragedy.
The friendship between town and country boys Lee and Gibson is real and personal, and the final shot transcends cliche.
Not profound but undeniably effective. Typical Weir, perhaps?
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