A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
Mark “Chopper” Read was one of Australia’s most notorious and glorified criminals. His legacy was unmatched in both the public and criminal world. His countless offences and all out insanity lead him to not only become a household name, but a best selling author at the same time.“Chopper” starring Eric Bana as Read, attempts to recreate historical moments in the chaotic and unique life of the crime lord; however it doesn’t amount to much in the end.
The darkness of this film really shows given the dominance of melancholy themes and characters, yet it’s surprisingly funny. Bana’s Chopper is a humorous and witty bloke, always ranting on about society and those who inhabit it. He is a self diagnosed victim of life; everyone and everything is against Chopper, but he couldn’t care less.
In recent years, the Australian crime world was brought brought to life in the form of television series and TV movies from the “Underbelly” franchise. The series was and still is highly popular and was well acclaimed, yet the glorification of these outright criminals is nothing to be pleased about. These people who spent a lifetime breaking the law, cheating, stealing and most importantly murdering, should not receive the glorification and ‘celebrity status’ as a result of such a series. “Chopper” fits this “Underbelly” mould, but thankfully only to an extent.
Apart from making Chopper look like a well educated comedian on social commentary, “Chopper” delves deep into the dark side of crime, prison and murder, which is definitely the strongest point of the film. The film portrays Chopper as we was believed to have been; a ruthless, psychotic killer.
There’s nothing funny about crime and murder, however “Chopper” is quite humerus at times. Eric Bana’s delivery of dialogue is great, and the articulation is very distinct, adding to the dramatic and comedic acting range of Bana.
It’s difficult to analyse a film such as this too much as the subject material is more or less unfamiliar. Mark “Chopper” Read to most was simply a big shot criminal with no ears and lots of ink on his bulging torso; there’s a lot lore beneath the surface, and “Chopper” aims to explore this.
“Chopper” had its moments; at times it was gritty and brutal, other times it was sad and moody and of course some times it was highly amusing. Even after including clever time lapse shots and quirky camera tilts, pans and fancy tricks, “Chopper” didn’t really build up to anything special in particular. There were portrayals of crucial moments in his life, however it all just ended abruptly and uneventfully; there needed to be a climax of some sort that offered both excitement but more importantly closure.
Some admired him while some despised him; some were indecisive. Whichever way you looked at Mark “Chopper” Read, his life and times are somewhat exhibited in “Chopper”, however not spectacularly or excitingly, it ultimately appeared as though the film had been made around two or three iconic shots of Read from the film with very little substance.
For such a monumental Australian name, there needed to be more going on to make this a truly successful biopic.