Romper Stomper (1992)

Romper Stomper
Written and directed by Geoffrey Wright
(number 392)

I’ve been putting this one off for a while. It’s one of those movies which I told myself I never have to see, because I know I don’t like racism and skinheads beating people up without having to see a movie about it. However, it’s on the list so here I go. I have chosen a sunny Spring Saturday, the first sunny weekend day we’ve had for weeks, to watch it. I’ve already done something like five loads of laundry, brought much of the laundry back in, aired and dry, and sorted outsome of my planters with new seeds and two little new strawberry plants. Plus I planted my ‘little garden‘ seeds, which is very exciting. In short, I feel calm, domestic, like I’m getting things done and in a pretty fine place to watch a nasty movie.

Roll on Russell Crowe.

Okay so yes, that was more or less what I expected it to be. It’s a hard watch, maybe a bit of an easier watch than American History X in terms of the amount of violence shown/level of budget. There’s a lot of violence in this, but it’s not shown with such precision, it’s a lot more street brawl; inelegant and brutal, whereas the way American History X is filmed there’s a lot of detail in the violence, so as a viewer you see exactly what’s happening. It’s much nastier to watch.

It’s filmed with that raw film festival/low budget almost documentary style feel to it. Lots of long, lingering shots. Following the action for what feels like too long to me.

Does it make me love the people? This one’s tricky. I didn’t like Gabrielle… but I didn’t want bad things to happen to her. I think mostly I liked Davey, although this is pushing it as well, since I really didn’t like what he did most of the movie. Still, his was the redemption arc, so he was who you were meant to be rooting for.

Russell Crowe’s Hando was awful, as expected. The irredeemable racist leader of the skinhead pack. Forever ready to get violent just because of how someone looks. It’s a great performance though, he does bring gravitas and some sort of sensitivity to the role.

Bechdel test: Yeah, Megan and Tracy talk about hair dye, and one of them talks to Gabrielle about whether or not they should join in the fight with the Vietnamese.

Best line:

We came to wreck everything and ruin your life.

State of Mind: Bleh. I feel tense afterwards, even after having a couple of breaks in the film to hang out the last bit of washing or scrounge something to eat. It’s a grimy film full of mean people which doesn’t make for pleasant viewing, and it’s not at all intended to be pleasant…so it achieves that. I won’t be watching that again.

Watched movie count


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