The Proposition

Rated NR

When I heard that Nick Cave (of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds) had written a movie, I was a little hesitant, because I think he writes like that kid who everyone in high school thought was so cool and deep and nonconformist but really he just listened to The Doors a lot and read Baudelaire and Nietzsche without understanding them. Luckily, in The Proposition, most of the dialogue is reasonably subdued, except for the long and pointless speechifying by John Hurt, which sounds like it was written by that kid who everyone in high school thought was so cool and deep. Mostly, The Proposition is a beautifully photographed, decently performed and reasonably compelling dark Western. It’s a little smarter and artier than a Sergio Leone film, yet a little grimmer and uglier than a Sam Peckinpah outing. The basic plot is that Captain Stanley (Ray Winstone) has arrested two of the outlaw Burns brothers, Charlie (Guy Pearce) and the mentally deficient Mike (Richard Wilson). But he lets Charlie go in order to bring back the truly evil Arthur (Danny Huston). As you might have guessed, this turns out to be a bad idea. There are some cool sequences featuring an Aboriginal resistance, an exploding head, a spear through the chest, a mountain redoubt that would make Osama jealous and sunsets on the almost freakishly desolate plains of Australia.

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