8:00 PM, 3rd November, 2001
Young and innocent Ben Madigan (Tom Long) gets a job as a personal injury assessor for a large insurance company. Stuck in "whiplash city" doing personal injury claims, Ben seeks to bring some compassion to the job. His boss, John Kreisky (Bryan Brown) seizes on this and asks Ben to participate in an experiment - nothing less than a means of skimming money from the company involving fraudulent claims supplied by his solicitor girlfriend Louise Roncoli (Claudia Karvan). Louise seduces Ben and draws him further into the crooked world of insurance scams, where his reluctance and his libido collide.
Risk is a neat little concoction that's not easy to categorise. Part thriller, part romance, part black comedy, this is anything but dull as it weaves a tricky tale around three well drawn and expertly portrayed characters. The cast is exceptional, with Tom Long brilliant as the at-first insecure young man who gradually comes to be enmeshed in something much bigger than he imagines. Claudia Karvan is also terrific as the ruthless Louise; and her sexually predatory tactics steam up an already searing plot. But it's Bryan Brown as the street-smart Kreisky who makes the film. He wears Kreisky's battle-scarred face like a badge of honour; a testament to a life dedicated to looking after Number One, but manages to retain the kind of laconic charm for which he's known. This is a wonderful Australian movie that's filmed on a low budget but has great acting, cinematography and a story. Go on, risk it! (Get it, risk it, the movie called Risk? Well the movie's still good even if the joke isn't.)
9:31 PM, 3rd November, 2001
The movie with the most beautiful sunrise yet filmed.
Killing the enemy can be a heroic act, or it can be murder. Just who is to blame if an 'innocent civilian' who is harbouring your enemy is killed? The answer to that question depends, in this movie, on whether your government is trying to make a peace deal.
Morant (Woodward) and Hancock (Brown), who were operating an efficient guerrilla unit to beat the Boers at their own game in 1900, find themselves charged with murder, as scapegoats to placate Germany (the Boers' ally).
This is a suspenseful movie played out largely in a courtroom with Major Thomas (Thomson), an inexperienced lawyer being the only thing between the accused and a firing squad. He does everything required of him, finds a defence against the charges, but then has to fight the will of the entire British Empire which would rather kill a couple of "barbaric colonials" than apologise itself.
This movie shares with Gallipoli, the theme of the great injustices that war can force on mankind, so a box of tissues may be handy to bring along.