‘BROKEN HILL’ (2009)

January 25, 2013 Rissi JC 9 Comments

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.   

‘BROKEN HILL’ (2009). Alexa Vega co-stars in this film about a teen who grows up in the country but has lofty dreams of being a conductor. All text © Rissi JC

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.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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  • Ella January 25, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    I've heard of this movie,but haven't watched it yet. Thanks for the review!

    • Rissi January 26, 2013 at 4:59 AM

      My pleasure, Ella. It's an interesting film to say the least. :)

  • Shay January 25, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    I have never even heard of this movie- I cannot believe how much Alexa Vega has grown since Spy kids:-)

    • Rissi January 26, 2013 at 5:02 AM

      It is fun to watch child actors grow when you saw them first in their early roles! Have you seen Alexa in the Jane Austen S&S contemporary re-telling? It's cute but Austen purists probably take issue with it. :)

      This one is interesting if not relatively slow-moving.

      Thanks for dropping by, Shay – visit again anytime!

  • Net Movie Blogger January 26, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    Rissi… this one looks interesting. Wonder if anyone has ever played it on TV? Hmmm? Maybe someday!

    Also, I love your comment box beneath your postings. Mine used to be, but I took it away and since then, I've tried everything to put it back, but it just doesn't work. I've adjusted html code, clicked all the right boxes – nothing! Uggghhhh!!! Maybe I need to try it again – cuz I really like the way yours looks!!!

    Have a Great Day!!!

    • Rissi January 26, 2013 at 10:42 PM

      It was, Net Movie Blogger. At times, it moves a bit slow but one has to take into account its "artistic" story-telling. Hope you can find it on TV sometime; it was one that Dove "approved."

      Thanks! I recently changed to this comment form (used to be like yours) but thought perhaps this was a bit more "personal" to respond and that is what I've always wanted to do.

      Have you gone under the "settings" category and then "posts and comments"? That's how mine was changed – it was switched from "pop-up" to "embedded" and seems to work okay. Hope you can figure it out – it's true that this is nicer if you like to be more inter-active with readers. Best of luck!

  • Valerie January 27, 2013 at 4:25 AM

    I've had this one sitting in my NetFlix Instant Queue for several months, but I've never gotten around to watching it because I simply didn't really know anything about it. I'm glad to hear it's worth watching….I guess I'll leave it in my queue and plan on watching it one of these days. :)

    Thanks for the review, Rissi!

    • Rissi January 27, 2013 at 4:46 AM

      Though I don't use Netflix I have many movies like that also, Valerie. I'll walk the new release wall and pass a movie ten times before finally renting it. Usually they aren't ones that I am *dying* to see in the first place but the premise intrigues me.

      Hope you enjoy if/when you see it – and thank you for reading, Valerie. :)

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