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Set against the harsh and unforgiving landscape of the 1880s Australian outback, The Proposition is a visually stunning tale of loyalty, revenge and the quest for justice in a lawless land. Charlie Burns (Guy Pearce) is a renegade. Along with his two brothers, Arthur (Danny Huston) and Mikey (Richard Wilson), he is wanted for murder. When Captain Stanley (Ray Winstone) captures Charlie and Mikey, he offers Charlie a proposition in an attempt to end the brutality that surrounds them -- the only way to save Mikey from the noose is for Charlie to track down and kill Arthur, his psychotic older brother. An impossible moral dilemma leads to a murderous climax.
A savage Western set in Australia's Outback, The Proposition is relentless in its intensity and bloody imagery. Set in the late 19th century, the film tells the brutal story of a gang of brothers that kills not out of desperation, but because they can. Arthur Burns (Danny Huston) is the mastermind who shares little in common (other than total disregard for human life) with his younger brother Charlie (Guy Pearce, L.A. Confidential, Memento). When Charlie and their baby brother Mike (Richard Wilson) are captured, Charlie is offered a proposition to save their necks from the gallows. "Suppose, Mr. Burns, I was to give both you and your young brother Mikey, here, a pardon," offers Captain Stanley (Ray Winstone). "Suppose I said that I could give you the chance to expunge the guilt beneath which you so clearly labor.... Now, suppose you tell me what it is I want from you." Without blinking, Charlie says, "You want me to kill my brother." For most people, this would be an unthinkable proposition. For Charlie, the answer's obvious. He'll do whatever he has to spare his own life, even if that means trading his for Arthur's. The Proposition at times is a difficult film to watch. But thanks to a compelling story by rocker Nick Cave and a supporting cast (including Emily Watson as the Captain's gentle wife), the film is a classic in the making. --Jae-Ha Kim
- Director and Writer Commentary
- 5 Behind the Scenes Featurettes
- Still gallery
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The military captain in charge of apprehending the Burns is played by Ray Winstone, superb actor. After the two Burns brothers are caught he approaches Guy Pearce's character Charlie with a proposition. Bring in his notorious older brother Arthur and his younger brother will be allowed to live. The older brother is played by Danny Huston, another fine actor, plays a really good bad guy. Once discovered this deal does not set well with the general poulation and is eventually reported to the Captain's superior officer. In the meantime th search by Charlie starts for brother Arthur. Nice twist here and there and especially at the end. Don't want to divulge too much.
This is a well directed, very well acted and realistic Western action drama. While the associated cost of shooting on location were substantial I'm sure, a talented cast was the main concern and that cast delivered. The outstanding performances were, of course, Pearce, Huston, and Winstone but all contributed fully. Western fans should add this.
Most recent customer reviews
(could've been US west too)...Read more