We all know that Australian film doesn’t have the best reputation. Whether it’s that drawling Australian accent that we secretly aren’t that fond of, or whether we hate looking at our country, or whether we just don’t have the talent (I don’t think it’s that one to be honest), it’s hard to deny the fact that Australian films are far and few between at the box office, and don’t do so well here anyway.
However, time and time again, Australian films have been very well received internationally, but not particularly well here. One reason is cultural cringe, and another may be simply because Australian films don’t have budgets comparable to big American ones. That also means they don’t do as well at the box office, which is why the way The Mule is being distributed is so interesting – rather than going for a wide release, there will be a select amount of event screenings, but the main part of the release is digital – releasing on 21 November.
A guy refuses to poop.
That’s the basic idea behind The Mule, an Australian black comedy starring Angus Sampson and Hugo Weaving, but it’s more than that. The Mule stars Angus Sampson as Ray, his footy team’s member of the year and a hapless drug mule for his teammate and “brother” (Leigh Whannell) after their team footy trip in Thailand. Twenty condoms of heroin, to be exact, swallowed and waiting to be shit out when they’re safe at home.
Obviously things escalate and Ray ends up in police custody for a week. There’s a lot of different threads going on, most of which Ray is not aware of, but we as the audience are privy to, and this rounds out the film with plenty of action behind the scenes, with his family and coach of his footy team (John Noble) complicit in his incarceration or dragged in.
Even within the hotel room, there’s plenty of drama – Hugo Weaving plays a really bad bad cop, adding some international cachet to the cast, and Georgina Haig is Ray’s legal aid with her own agenda.
There are some fantastic moments in the film that stand out in this film full of stand outs, and really it’s just something that should be seen, not described. While the film starts off slow with an oppressive suburban feel, it really kicks into high gear and is truly gripping when it gets going.
Download the film here, and on December 7th, join the filmmakers, Leigh Whannell and Angus Sampson, in livetweeting the entire Mule experience.