Year of Living Dangerously [Import]
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Guy Hamilton (Mel Gibson) is a hungry young journalist from Australia who's just taken an assignment as foreign correspondent in politically unstable Indonesia to break out of a long stint in the newsroom at home. Upon arrival he is immediately befriended by the wonderfully intriguing Billy (Linda Hunt), a photographer who compiles files on his friends, finding solace from the chaos of political and economic upheaval by manipulating what he can in his life. Billy, who likes Guy for the inexplicable reasons that draw people to one another, helps him to get the break that he desperately longs for. The break makes him as a journalist, and the wave of confidence that it generates carries him into the seduction of Jill Bryant (Sigourney Weaver), an English diplomat who's leaving the country too soon to justify an affair. She succumbs, however, luckily for us, for the scenes of their passionate trysts are intense and exciting in a fresh young way. As the political situation begins to unravel, however, Guy is forced to yield his journalistic idealism to a forced acknowledgment of reality. An intriguingly complex and moving film from Peter Weir. --James McGrath
Top Customer Reviews
Dreamy, brilliantly shot in the countryside and crowded 1960s Jakarta, and yet tautly real, the film overwhelms the senses yet is precise and sensitive on a large canvas. The ominousness of political events-- Sukarno's rise to power-- unfolds against an atmosphere so evocative that I forgot myself in the first few frames of the film.
Only Weir's equally evocative film _Fearless_ plumbs the same rich depths this brilliant, perfectly-realized film does.
More than 5 stars. A superb film that will make you forget yourself and remember its haunting themes, and very real human players in a drama beyond the scale of any of their lives.
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 film is also about a wealthy nations role in such circumstance. Mel Gibson plays an Australian journalist and that allows him to report events as they occur but not have to get involved in them or think about what they mean. That changes however when Mel meets Linda Hunt. Her character teaches Mel how to care about the people not just the events and that is the most fascinating relationship in the film. Sigourney Weaver is the daughter of an English colonial administrator but now that the political climate is a threatening and perilously unstable one the English are departing. Her father is pompous and very English, his intentions are good ones but his methods have been ineffective because from his lofty English perch he can not see the real needs of the people. Mel falls for his daughter who as a free spirit and free thinker cares for the people and understands their needs in a way her father could not. It is not surprising that Linda Hunt likes her and wishes to see she and Mel together. And she has a fascination with shadow puppets that makes her think of herself as something of a puppet master in the Mel and Sigourney love affair.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Really great! the DVD was perfect! I say to all whom wonder, Buy It!!! it's Great!!!Published 3 months ago by Aaron
An almost perfect film, imo. Glad to have this in my collection. Acting is nuanced, subtle. Sigourney Weaver does a good British accent. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Jonas Amazon
I bought this movie for a friend who absolutely loved it. She had seen it before and desperately wanted to own it.Published on Jan. 31 2013 by Michele
This movie is a keeper. I remember seeing it at the theatre when it first came out. It's a fascinating depiction of Sukarno's Indonesian government with a stellar perfomance by... Read morePublished on Aug. 28 2011 by Andrew T.
I loved the original theatrical release of The Year of Living Dangerously. I watched it over and over. It was a beautiful, sensuous film. This is not the original. Read morePublished on July 10 2004 by Rick
I saw it on the big screen when it first came out, and i distinctly recall that breathing required a conscious effort for at least a couple of hours afterward. Read morePublished on April 10 2004 by schnoidl
A terrific film--
The cinematography is brilliant; the actors and story, mesmerizing. Highly recommended.
This film is brilliant and perfectly matched to its actors. The score by Maurice Jarre almost, but not quite, eclipses the real star of the film, the Indonesia of the movie's... Read morePublished on April 5 2004
The movie is very dark. Could certainly use better lighting. Sometimes a little confusing.Published on Dec 9 2003