Broken Hill (2009)

January 25, 2013

What drew me
to this, I don’t know. Apart from the fact that I am constantly on the lookout
for wholesome entertainment and its leading lady, it held the promise of a
poetic piece of filming and apart from its few flaws, it does portray a sense
of poetry in motion.

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 grew
up in the Australian outback, working long days on his families’ sheep farm and
though it has taught him values in life, it did nothing to hamper his plans of
one day leaving farming behind. Dreaming of one day becoming a renowned
composer and attending the Sydney Conservatorium, he has an uphill battle ahead
of him.  

Harboring a
crush on his American classmate, Kat Rogers (Alexa Vega) – an impetuous girl of
comfortable living, she has always captured Tommy’s attentions… but nothing he
does captures hers. Instead Kat doesn’t seem interested in having Tommy as a
friend, so in further attempts to gain her favor, he lands himself in a whole
passel of trouble with the law. 

Since this
was in theaters it has a certain impressive quality to it, even in its lowly
moments. In more than just one element, whether it was in its plotting or
genuine passion did the movie surprise me. It adopts a kind of lovely melodic tone
that isn’t often experienced in stories. The actors and story had a beautiful
way of expressing the emotions and subplots onto the screen but it isn’t perfect
either – like everything. The opening – and later on, finds Tommy imaginatively
conducting a symphony but the introduction of the musicians as they appear are
kind of strange being as they are terribly misplaced; once on the ball field
and another time out in the outback. At first, its kind of style seemed
horribly misplaced and a little off-kilter, but on reflection, it was actually
unique to the story and it might be believable that someone so musically
talented and inclined could hear “music” in the simple sounds of nature that
surround us. (To give credit one had to admire the vision of filmmakers.) Its
transitions are decent in going from the “real” setting to Tommy’s envisioning
his compositions coming to life, needing only to have a “beat” (such as the
clank of a metal fence post being driven into the ground) in order to be

most any age should be comfortable with the potential detrimental content herein
since. Kat is a spitfire who still manages to be likable… somehow. Most the
characters are realistic in terms of the audience relating to some of their emotional
turmoil. Tommy and Kat develop a nice rapport (it was nice that no one really
gave up on Tommy as so many stories would have – Kat was willing to challenge
him where he wasn’t) as does he with the men of the prison. Its only real
failing is a mildly annoying blimp that appears on the screen at intervals
every minute or two. Since this is the second technical malfunction to happen
in my viewing choices of late, I found it ironic, although this time it isn’t
nearly as bothersome, making the movie still enjoyable no matter what. Broken Hill tends towards a slower gait
than the typical teen love story but boasts some breathtaking, gorgeous shots
of the desolate scenery – and probably has more empathy than most.

(Rated PG: Teens participate in one instance of
vandalism after one of them coheres the driver into “helping.” Tommy and Kat
share a couple of sweet kisses; Kat wears some immodest clothing and in
general, is wild. There are two phone calls overheard of a married couple
fighting. 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.)


  • Ella

    January 25, 2013 at 5:06 pm

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

    1. 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:-)

    1. 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!!!

    1. 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!

    1. 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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