Have you ever watched the film starring the late Heath Ledger, entitled Ned Kelly (2003)? This semi-biopic film tells of one of the 1880 Australian antihero Ned Kelly stories that is often juxtaposed with the legend of Robin Hood. Previously in 1970 Ned Kelly was also adapted into a film starring Rolling Stone vocalist Mick Jagger. This year the antihero is again filmed by showing the other side and has a much different story than the 2 films mentioned above entitled True History of the Kelly Gang.
True History of the Kelly Gang is an adaptation of the novel of the same name written by Peter Carey. The film is directed by Justin Kurzel (Macbeth, Assassins Creed) and stars George Mackay (1917, Captain Fantastic) as the adult Ned Kelly. then other cast brought big names such as Russell Crowe (Robin Hood, American Gangster) , Charlie Hunnam (Pacific Rim, The Gentleman) , Nicholas Hoult (X-men First Class, Warm Bodies) and Thomasin McKenzie (Jojo Rabbit, The King ).
The film opens with Ned Kelly’s childhood who has experienced how hard life is. Ned’s own family are Irish people who were forced to migrate to Australia by the British government. Living far from the city and always being the object of discrimination by the local police has become a daily meal for little Ned and his family plus his father who has lost his role as head of the household in the eyes of his own family. Protecting his mother and siblings was Ned’s top priority.
Little Ned is met with Harry Power (Russel Crowe), an influential robber and thief who forms an adult Ned. Ned, who initially only wanted to live in peace to become a farmer, was increasingly being discriminated against, especially after his acquaintance with the police Constable Fitzpatrick (Nicholas Hoult) further aggravated the situation which made Ned hate the police more and more and resulted in criminal acts in the form of robbers and murders. by Ned who is also the gang leader.
As mentioned above, True History of the Kelly Gang has a different story than the two previous films. The story focuses more on what makes Ned a tough and brutal person. The factors that prompted the criminal acts he committed. So don’t expect you to see a cool robbery scene like the previous two films because this film feels more like a psychological drama spiced with some brutal scenes.
George Mackay performed enough as an adult Ned, but more points deserve to be given to Orlando Schwerdt who played a small Ned who only appeared for the first 30 minutes but already showed the foundation of Ned’s rebellious character and leader. Russel Crowe who also appeared much shorter in this film also managed to steal the attention. And everything seems to be perfected by the appearance of the antagonist Nicholas Hoult in this film, which is very rarely we see him playing a character that really provokes the emotions of the audience to swear.
True History of the Kelly Gang has a slow storyline that is still captivating. Although the truth in this film still needs to be researched on its own, this film presents a different perspective on the legendary character that we did not meet in the previous two films.