Galore is an Australian movie directed and written by Rhys Graham that encapsulates the magic and mayhem of young adulthood. Set in the regional suburbs of Canberra where the threat of bush fires is ever-present in the harsh summer heat, best friends Billie (Ashleigh Cummings) and Laura (Lily Sullivan) are enjoying the holidays before final year swimming, partying, drinking and sharing everything together, from part-time jobs to cigarettes. Unbeknownst to Laura, they are sharing one other thing: Billie is sleeping with Laura’s boyfriend, Danny (Toby Wallace). When Billie’s mum takes in Isaac (Alika Matangi), a troubled teenager looking for support, bonds between the four adolescents are forged and broken as they get caught up in the roller coaster rides of love, sex, friendship, betrayal and loss.
This emotional drama is a nod to that time in your life when every new experience is exhilarating and terrifying, and watching this film transports you back to your 17-year-old self. There are a number of reasons Galore is able to encompass adolescence so effectively, namely Rhys Graham’s direction and the array of very talented young actors driving the movie. Ashleigh Cummings, better known for her role as Debbie on Puberty Blues, is stunning as the lead and she perfectly captures Billie’s inner turmoil as she struggles to comprehend and deal with her conflicting emotions. Her performance is bewitching, making her future in the industry look very promising. The supporting cast are also hugely talented, proving that young Aussie actors are ones to watch out for.
Galore is a very pretty movie, with lots of scenic cutaways to the Australian bush landscape, the regional town and the bush fires looming on the horizon, growing closer as the movie progresses. Extreme close-ups of the characters allow us further insight into their emotions, but the shaky hand-held camera effect present throughout the entire film is a little distracting and could induce a little nausea for any viewers who are weak of stomach! The screenplay is simple, but works in this sense, and some of the words written by aspiring writer Laura are beautiful, albeit a little cliche at times. However, a warning to those easily offended: nearly every second word is the f-word (with quite a few c-bombs dropped too) which can get a little over-the-top, but as a representation of young adults growing up in regional Australia, its relatively accurate. One issue I couldn’t get around was the fact that almost all the characters felt mumbling was an effective way to communicate and I felt I missed a decent chuck of the dialogue merely for the fact that I couldn’t hear properly. Whether this was an issue with the sound or with the actors I’m not sure.
There is sadly something a little unoriginal about this film. The added metaphor of the approaching fires and the Australian setting bring something fresh to this coming of age story I can otherwise liken to titles such as The Perks of Being A Wallflower, Like Crazy and a lot of other films about teenagers falling in love. Despite this, I still managed to get lost in Billie and Laura’s story, entranced by the beautiful Australian environment and the immensity of the world through their young eyes.
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