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The Year of Living Dangerously
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I recommend waiting until the original version is released. DON'T BUY THIS TRASH!
Mel Gibson is a novice reporter for Australian news recently assigned to Indonesia. He wants to make a splash and climb the reportorial hierarchy. Billy Kwan (Linda Hunt in a stellar performance) takes him under his wing and educates him about poverty and teaches him to recognize the shadow play of politics. Billy also introduces him to Jill (Sigourney Weaver). They fall in love and have a wonderful scene in the rain. He commits a dramatic act that costs him dearly. (I don't want to give away everything.) Through it all we meet a cast of characters - reporters and diplomats - who are in turns fascinating and loathsome.
The movie is beautifully photographed. The music adds to the atmosphere. Since I reserve a 5 star rating for true classics, this film gets only a 4. However I do recommend it very strongly.
The setting is 1965, Djakarta, during a time when Southeast Asia was high on the scope of European radar and coming into more prominence for American eyes. Indonesia was (and is) a big country, with population and resources (both underutilised) the envy of East and West.
The dictator Sukarno was playing a dangerous game trying the balance the two, internally as well as in foreign affairs. In the end, it did not pay off for him, and Indonesia has only recently begun to work at achieving a prominence a resource-rich, 100+ million populated country can attain.
Into this tight-rope situation dropped Guy Hamilton (Mel Gibson), of the Australian Broadcasting Service, a fresh-faced journalist out to make a mark for himself, sabotaged by his predecessor and professionally ignored by other Western journalists (who had their own headline-deadlines to meet). However, a strange American/Chinese man, Billy Kwan (Linda Hunt), befriends him, and attempts to help him both professionally, personally, and spiritually.
Billy takes Guy on a trip through the slums of Djakarta, preaching Tolstoy, charity and compassion, and tries to get Guy to see beyond the headlines. Billy also introduces Guy to Jill (Sigourney Weaver), a British agent planning to leave Djakarta.Read more ›
"The Year of Living Dangerously" is a rare thing. It is a film that lets you see an alien culture in all its poverty and violence and political turmoil and renders it -- at its heart -- as a frightening and beautiful thing. I know I will perhaps never go to Djakarta, Indonesia. I certainly cannot know the fear the people of Java lived with under the Sukarno regime. I do not know what fears they live with now.
But I am haunted by the voice of Billy Kwan (Linda Hunt in her Oscar winning role) who is himself haunted by the misery and hardships of his adopted people. Guy Hamilton (Mel Gibson) is the journalist trying to cover a budding revolution the western world watches but doesn't wish to understand. Hamilton is, as I would be, lost in this alien culture, visibly panicked as he struggles to keep up with his callous fellow journalists. Sigourney Weaver is the sophisticated British attache for whom he finds himself falling in love. Ultimately, Hamilton must decide between his loyalty to his job and his loyalty to himself.
Peter Weir's empathic direction and Maurice Jarre's lush score put you in Indonesia in the 1960s and hold you there. Stay. You will go back again and again.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Peter Weir's Top Seven
1. Picnic At Hanging Rock
2. The Last Wave
3. The Plumber
6. The Truman Show
7. Read more
Throw back movie that portrays heat and intense drama without the special effects so prevalent in movies today. Moving performances. Still relevant subjects. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Lesley C.
The phrase “Stars in Their Courses” is the title of Shelby Foote’s excellent history of the Civil War Battle of Gettysburg. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Wesley Bob
Remember hearing about this growing up but just never looked in to it. Glad I did. Good acting, great story, nice to see Mel in his 'hot' days. haPublished 2 months ago by Denise
I would have loved this...except it does not play...not a good product.Published 2 months ago by Elizabeth D'Angelo
I've always liked this movie. Mel - before he went full on bat crazy. I'm surprised that more people haven't seen this movie.Published 2 months ago by Glaswegian
Have long loved this film and eagerly awaited a blu ray release. Very disappointed in this; it seems inferior (really) to my DVD. Read morePublished 2 months ago by George Hovey
Great 80s exotic movie. Very different from most movies. Mel is good so is Sigourney . Linda hunt plays a little man with a Chinese father. what else could you ask for?Published 2 months ago by jcharms
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