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The Proposition

May 5, 2006
Director John Hillcoat
Producer Pam Collis, Christopher Simon
Screenwriter Nick Cave
Studio First Look Films
Starring Guy Pearce, Ray Winstone, Danny Huston, John Hurt, David Wenham, Emily Watson
Genre Western, Action
Additional Film Info
Source: Official Site
CanMag Review Score: No Review To Date

Plot / Synopsis
Australian Outback, 1880s.

Set against the harsh and unforgiving landscape of the Outback, The Proposition is a visually stunning tale of loyalty, revenge, and the quest for justice in a land without rule.

The film opens in the middle of a frenzied gunfight between the police and a gang of bushrangers. Charlie Burns and his brother Mikey are captured by the British law enforcer Captain Stanley who makes Charlie an impossible proposition.

Charlie Burns is a renegade living in the lawless frontier who, along with his two brothers Mikey and Arthur, is wanted for rape and murder. Stanley offers Charlie a bleak choice in an attempt to end the brutality that surrounds them: 14-year old Mikey will hang on Christmas Day unless Charlie hunts down and kills his psychotic older brother Arthur, who Stanley believes to be the ringleader and the true perpetrator of the violence. If Charlie succeeds, Stanley will pardon both Charlie and Mikey.

Meanwhile, Captain Stanley begins to break under pressure; local Aborigines are rebelling, and his dangerously impulsive and powerful boss, Eden Fletcher, wants immediate order in the region. What’s more, Stanley desperately fights to shield his innocent wife Martha, who left a comfortable life in England, from the brutalities of their new home and the impossible predicament of his position.

Once set free, Charlie searches the harsh and brutal landscape for Arthur who hides in the mountains with the remainder of his gang. When Eden Fletcher hears of the deal, he becomes furious. Taking justice into his own hands, he inflames a mob to publicly flog Mikey to near death, and, consequently, places Stanley and his wife Martha in imminent danger.

Running out of time to save Mikey’s life, Charlie is attacked and wounded by a group of Aboriginals only to be saved by Arthur. Back at the hideout, as Charlie recovers from his wounds, Arthur and Charlie go head to head. The two brothers put their differences aside to join forces to spring a lifeless Mikey from jail in another fierce shoot out.

As Arthur seeks his own brutal revenge, this vicious cycle of violence reaches a bloody conclusion at Stanley and Martha’s home. Charlie must choose between revenge for Mikey, loyalty to the brother who saved his life, and his own conscience.

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