[Warning: Not child-friendly]
John Hillcoat’s moody “Pavlova Western” is a grim, brutal perspective on colonial Australia. Ruminating on violence, racism and isolation, The Proposition pulls no punches in the depiction of a fictional band of outlaws in a far flung Western Australian town in the late 1800s. Written by Nick Cave, best known for his grim, brooding, rock music, the film depicts the Burns brothers – Charlie, Michael and Arthur – at the tail end of their outlaw career. Captain Stanley (Ray Winstone) makes a deal with Charlie (Guy Pearce) to bring his brother Arthur (Danny Huston) in dead or alive in order to save the life of his little brother Mikey (Richard Wilson). It’s certainly not a film for the family by any far stretch of the imagination, but it definitely gives an accurate feel for the sense of constant danger and desperation most bushrangers must have felt.