Answering why I was drawn to this is impossible save for its leading lady, who I like in other roles. It has promise of a poetic piece of filming and apart from its few flaws, Broken Hill is, in a sense, poetry in motion.
Broken Hill (2011) Film Review
Growing up in a remote part of the world sometimes makes you lonely. And sometimes it limits dreams. That is exactly where Tommy (Luke Arnold) is right now. He grows up in the Australian outback, working long days on his families’ sheep farm. This teaches him values and morals, but it does nothing to hamper his plans to one day leave farming behind. He hopes to become a famous composer and attend the Sydney Conservatorium, but he has an uphill battle ahead of him.
With a crush on his American classmate, Kat Rogers (Alexa Vega), an impetuous girl who has a comfortable life, Tommy has always had a thing for her, but nothing he does captures her. Instead Kat doesn’t seem interested in Tommy as a friend. Then, in an effort to gain her favor, he lands himself in a whole passel of trouble with the law.
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Since this was in theaters, this is a little more than a “b film,” even though it does have low moments. There’s more than one thing about Broken Hill (like its passion) that does surprise me. It adopts a kind of lovely melodic tone for one. The actors and story have a beautiful way of expressing emotions and subplots but it isn’t perfect either, like anything. The opening shows Tommy imagines conducting a symphony but the introduction of the musicians is kind of strange. (To give credit there is creativity in this vision of filmmakers.) There’s decent transition that go from “real” to Tommy’s visions.
I do like the characters. Kat is a spitfire who still manages to be likable. Tommy and Kat develop a nice rapport (it’s nice that no one really gives up on Tommy as so many stories would; Kat is willing to challenge him where he wasn’t). Its only real failing is a mildly annoying blimp that appears on the screen at intervals every minute or two. I’m not sure if this is just a random flaw on my DVD or what. Broken Hill tends towards a slower gait than the typical teen love story but boasts some breathtaking, gorgeous shots, and probably has more empathy than most.
Content: Teens participate in one instance of vandalism after one of them coerces the driver into “helping.” Tommy and Kat share a couple of sweet kisses; Kat wears some immodest clothing and in general, is wild. A married couple fights. Plus there is the added addition of Tommy and Kat spending time in the prison; Kat is uncomfortable with it and is creeped out by one of the prisoner’s stares, she finally tells him to stop; likening herself to a “prostitute,” assuming that to be the reasoning. The film is PG.