Passionate film about one woman's journey to freedom!
randomartco | Greater Washington D.C. area | 05/17/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This was a truly passionate film about one woman's journey to freedom: Mary Bryant, who was transported to a penal colony in Australia for stealing (just once) out of desperation & hunger. Mary Bryant, played superbly by Romola Garai, must do unthinkable things in order to survive the harsh world she now finds herself in. The action in this film is intense and rarely lets up...
Please be aware that the content of this film is an R: there is disturbing violence (including sexual violence), nudity, sex and more. This one was a bit of a hard one to watch, as the content was very strong and intense. However, Mary Bryant's story is quite moving, if you are willing to wade through the strong content. Her passion and will to live are truly inspiring."
Graphic portrayal of a harsh life
sirensong2002 | 09/28/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First off, if you're thinking that this is going to be another british type period drama with just a hint of realism, this isn't the series for you. Some scenes are VERY graphic and sometimes painful to watch (a woman is severely whipped for an offense while aboard ship....chaos reigns when the prisoners finally arrive in Botany Bay -- rape and violence). The conditions aboard ship while on the way to Australia are horrendous and graphicly shown. In other words, this is not a series for the faint fo heart. As for why the film makers felt the need to show such scenes, I can only surmise that they wanted the audience to experience at least a part of what these prisoners lived through.
Warnings aside, I have to say that I enjoyed the series as a whole. The actors involved were tremendous, especially Romola Garai (Mary Bryant) and Jack Davenport (Lt. Clarke). Romola managed to make me both hate and yet feel compassion for her character; a hard feat indeed. Mary, is manipulative to the extreme. She fought with everything she had in order to insure the survival of her children, her husband (fellow prisoner played by Aussie Alex O'Loughlin) and herself. The object of most of that manipulation is one Lt. Clarke, a man most certainly out of his depth and obsessed with Mary.
My one and only criticism of the series is that because of the way that certain scenes were shot and edited, you almost feel as if you should be rooting for Mary to end up with Clarke instead of the husband.
Overall, a definitely worthwhile viewing. High production values and beautifully shot. But be warned, this is most certainly not for the faint fo heart."
Incredible journey of Mary Bryant
S. J. Adams | Raleigh NC | 02/18/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Based on a true story, this movie is about an Englishwoman who was sent to what became the very first penal colony in New South Wales (Australia). The hardships were more realistically depicted than in most stories of this type. Along the way she finds loves and endures even greater hardships, in her quest for freedom. Highly recommend, but not for anyone under 18."
Miss C | USA | 08/20/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I found this movie at Ross and bought it because it seemed interesting and I've seen Romola in Daniel Deronda and thought she was a good actress. This movie was very suspenseful and interesting. It is very graphic though and has scenes I cringed at. That makes you all the more want them to escape. I agree with another reviewer in that you are routing for her but at times don't totally agree with her methods. I was curious to how historically accurate the movie was after watching and read about her online. I saw that they did add some things for the sake of drama to the story and changed various details. I didn't think they should've changed those details just to make the movie more interesting because the real story is interesting also. I think it was very worth watching but its one of the kind I watch once and am finished with because I don't often enjoy movies with much violence or open sex which this has. I was glued to watching this till the end though and even couldn't help but shed a few tears near the ending which I never do. It has some what of a bittersweet ending. Overall worth seeing, I think the acting was great! I'm thinking of maybe finding a book about her now to learn more about the real Mary."
"I truly enjoyed this little movie which gave what seemed a quite realistic view on the hardship endured by the convicts and accompanying soldiers a like when Australia was first colonized.
Having read about the many comments of the graphic scenes I must say I was a bit disappointed and surprised as what was shown seemed less graphic than in the average movie of the past 20 years.... a few pieces of bare skin and some indicative 'movements' was pretty much it. Maybe the other reviewers belong to the new wave of puritanism that seems to be spreading particularly in the US...? interested to hear a bit elaboration from those who were so taken a back ?
It was well acted and it was nice to see that both the convicts and soldiers were shown as human i.e. with good and more dark sides forming a more realistic picture than many period films where the characters are often entirely good or bad.
Without disclosing anything was I disappointed with the rather abrupt ending leaving too much for the viewer to assume - considering it is based on a true story it is natural to want to know a bit more as to what followed. This is my main reason for giving 3 rather than 4 Stars"