"The Great Victoria"
Written and directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson
Cinematography by: Robert Elswit
Editing by: Dylan Tichenor
Music by: Hanz Zimmer
Produced by: Jerry Bruckheimer
Edward Norton (Jonathan Rightman)
Djimon Hounsou (Jackie Kite)
Barry Pepper (Simon Sells)
Synopsis: It’s 1976. Jonathan Rightman, Jackie Kite, and Simon Sells are best friends. They all work in the same office building, their profession, Architecture. Jonathan is a very nice man, who loves music and has a wife and two loving kids. Jackie is a Hard worker with a bad temper, who still doesn’t believe he’s out of an environment of racism, and Simon Sells is a very light hearted man but who also always likes to pick small fights with Jackie. They are constantly stressed out about work and over a big lunch and talk they decide they need to get out of the city. Jonathan is the one who suggests they get out of the country. Jackie is very skeptical about this, as he always is. He’s afraid that racism will follow him everywhere he goes. Jackie says to go to Africa, which is quickly discarded as they want to go to another English speaking country. That’s when they decide to go to Sydney, Australia.
With all their Past and present Christmas bonuses, they rent a private jet. Unfortunately for them, the pilot was an amateur, and was an amateur at preparing the plane. After an 8 hour plane ride to the outback, the guys start experiencing turbulence, which was getting more and more intense. The pilot informed them that something was wrong with the engine, and that they would have to make an emergency descent in Canberra. Unfortunately for them, they were very far away from Canberra, too far for them to land. They are currently flying over a vast stretch of desert known only as the Great Victoria. The plane violently crash lands in the middle of the desert. The boys are okay, but the pilot is found dead. The boys all have to live on the food they packed in their backpacks before they start scavenging in the desert for food and water. They force themselves to drink water from cactus. In the middle of one night, they are surrounded with vicious dingoes and run away from their only shelter: the plane. After a long run, the guys get lost and now have absolutely no shelter. In the morning, Simon and Jackie have a dispute about whether they would be captured alive or dead and Jackie ends up going crazy and beats Simon to death. Jonathan abandons Jackie and the now dead Simon. Jackie is forced into cannibalism and eats Simon’s body. In the middle of the desert, Jonathan starts having visions of his family and starts to go crazy. He then meets up with Jackie, and they have a fight, where Jonathan kills him. Jonathan is never seen again, never known what happens to him. All trapped in the Great Victoria.
What the Press would say:
This film is unlike any film I’ve seen in this decade, from the theme music that’s eerie but adventurous to the mind-blowing performances by Djimon Hounsou, Edward Norton and Barry Pepper. This picture takes you to the edge of your seat, with real life situations and even a very daring scene where Djimon Hounsou is seen eating the leg of Barry Pepper. The cinematography is amazing, as it makes you feel like you’re really there. This movie is a good 2 hours long, and it takes about 20 minutes for them to get ready and head to Australia. This film is brilliantly written and directed and has excellent performances. The ending is beautiful, as you don’t know whether Jonathan survives the desert or not.