I'm so tried of Australian cinema - it's 2020 and 'Rams' is the biggest thing we have. Regardless of the current cinema climate, the films we produce as a country for mainstream release have been getting more and more disappointing over the past few years. We get the same outback drama with ageing Channel 7 stars more than once a year; it feels like we aren't trying to produce more exciting content. While the indie scene is constantly producing hidden gems, the main releases have not lived up to expectations.
Two brothers, Colin (Sam Neill, 'Hunt For The Wilderpeople', 'Ride Like a Girl', 'Jurassic Park') and Les (Michael Caton, 'The Castle', 'Last Cab to Darwin'), have divided their parents' farm and now have rival sheep flocks. The two frequently see each other at competition, often besting each other, but they haven't spoken in over 40 years. When a rare and deadly illness targets all the sheep in this remote Western Australian town, the brothers have to try to come together to save their farms.
SWITCH: 'RAMS' TRAILER
'Rams' is a whopping 115 minutes, and with the sick sheep subplot pretty much wrapped up at the 40-minute mark, the rest is padded out with bland, forgettable drama and unnecessary subplots. We get random love interests, fires, and secret sheep. The main focus of the film should be on the relationship between the brothers, but that's not even close to what the film is about. Caton is not in large sections of the film, every single plot point is an afterthought and none hit the mark.
The film also deals with scenes of quartering, nose swaps and hazmat suits - and that is, of course, very awkward to watch in the current climate, not quite giving audiences the escape needed from movies right now.
'Rams' is also a re-imagining of the Icelandic 2015 film of the same name, and that film seems to be much better.
We have fantastic exceptions like 'Top End Wedding' and 'Ali's Wedding' that showcase what Australia is really like, but time after time we sadly get the same bland country film - and 'Rams' is the ultimate of that genre. The demographic they are going for is oozing all over the film - with stupid displays of gender stereotypes and extreme toxic masculinity, it just makes me sad to be Australian with this type of film getting pushed onto us by distributors. I understand making content for the over-45 crowd, but when it's all that's being produced, it's clear why audiences are steering away from Aussie films, and that's unfortunate. I want to support Australian cinema so badly - I always go out of my way to check them out, from 'Back of the Net' to 'Palm Beach'. I've been through the motions, but change is long overdue.
The demographic they are going for is oozing all over the film - with stupid displays of gender stereotypes and extreme toxic masculinity, it just makes me sad to be Australian with this type of film getting pushed onto us by distributors.
'Rams' will be remembered for being released in the 2020 climate, originally due out at the end of August before being pushed back to mid-September, then after literally being moved to every Thursday in October, winding up at the end of the month.
To Asher Keddie and Wayne Blair - you are national treasures, I love you guys, and if you need help just let us know. You both deserve better material than this.