PS2 PC GameCube Contact Us DVD/Music Search
Featured XBox GBA News Home Advertise

DVD Reviews: Beneath Clouds

The Final Say!

Feature Score:
DVD Extras Score

Reviewed by Alex Cuming
Review Date: 05 May 2003
Distributed by:
Magna Pacific
Running Time: 90 Minutes

The Aboriginal race in Australia has had much hardship at the hands of white man.  I have travelled to Kakadu, been on the edge of Arnham land and heard many stories about their Dreamtime.  Places in these areas hold a lot of meaning and history for these people.  What most white people donít understand is that land for these people is like their mother and taking it away is like losing an important member of their family.  They do not value material goods as much as white man does and the consumer rationale is different.  Their values are more in the realm of spirituality, their land and the stories they are brought up with. 

Now onto the story.  Lena is a young white girl brought up by Aboriginal foster parents.  When things start to get ugly she takes off to find her birth father.  Along the way she meets an Aboriginal boy, Vaughn, who is on the run from the police after breaking out of prison.  Vaughn breaks out to see his mother who is ill even though Vaughnís mother did not care for him he still feels the importance of seeing her before she passes away.  Lena and Vaughn meet and decide to take the journey together. 

Lena and Vaughn hitchhike along the road in NSW and slowly make their way into the city.  The journey is a hazardous one wrought with risk and unpredictability.  The pair are wary of each other and as the movie progresses they become more trusting and slowly begin to understand each otherís lives as well as their own.   

It is a serious movie with not much comic relief from the throbbing intensity that the two main characters exhibit.  However it is interesting and it provides insight into Aboriginal culture that some people in this country do not bother to think about.  Opinions from both sides are expressed in this film.  The disrespect that is displayed from white culture to black is reciprocated. While this seems counter-productive for both sides it is good to see the perspective the other way around to educate viewers on the issues that face Aboriginal people.  It is just a shame that the whole movie is so sombre and intense in execution.   

The sound is great with a sombre orchestral soundtrack to accompany the film.  Special note must go to the beginning of the film, which has an impressive surreal theme with sped up weather photography.  This profound introduction is one of the best seen by this reviewer.  Shame about the rest. 

This thoughtful production is basically just that and not much else unfortunately.  The entertainment factor is low and will be too serious for most viewers although the cast is commendable with the female lead winning an award for best new talent at the Berlin Film festival.  This part was done well especially for a young actor.   

Another fault that can be said about his film is that the script is pretty basic and uninteresting.  A bit more thought in the department would have certainly helped.  Lena and Vaughn mostly say one liners or monosyllables, which is disappointing to say the least.  Overall the dialogue is lacking in life and could have been better. 

There is no distortion or low-level noise in this title.  All music and sound is clear and audible.  There is only couple of movie trailers in the special features which is even more of a shame.  There could have been more extras in the form of production notes or interviews with the actors to provide more insight into what the producers and directors set out to do.

Beneath Clouds Features

  • Scene Selections
  • Trailer


Copyright ©2003 www.impulsegamer.com