ROMULUS MY FATHER is based on Raimond Gaita's critically acclaimed memoir. It tells the story of Romulus his beautiful wife Christina and their struggle in the face of great adversity to bring up their son Raimond. It is t... more »he tale of a boy trying to balance a universe described by his deeply moral father against the experience of heartbreaking absence and neglect from a depressive mother. It is ultimately a story of impossible love that celebrates the unbreakable bond between father and son.System Requirements:Running Time: 104 minutesFormat: DVD MOVIE Genre: DRAMA/PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMA Rating: R UPC: 876964001298 Manufacturer No: 10129« less
The acting was very good all around. The premise was interesting. But, overall, there was just too much angst in this movie. Also, the supposedly heroic father was not all that heroic. Mostly just sad, depressed and all too human. All the characters were. Some people might like this movie, but I was not one of them.
A Philosopher Concerned with Ethics Reflects on His Childhoo
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 04/28/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Raimond Gaita is not a name widely known to the world outside Australia where he serves as a professor of philosophy, writing extensively on 'skepticism (moral, of other minds and of the external world), on the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of psychology, on aspects of political philosophy (collective responsibility, the role of moral considerations in politics, genocide and the alleged uniqueness of the Holocaust), on education (the nature of teaching as a vocation, the role of love in learning and the plight of the universities) and on Wittgenstein's philosophy of mind and language'. After this filmed version of his memoir ROMULUS, MY FATHER, he may well gain a larger audience. This low budget film uses fewer words than silences and actions to depict the childhood of Gaita in the period around 1960. For many it may seem an aimless, prolonged, sad film, but for others it will deliver a life force in a sensitive child that is indomitable.
Romulus Gaita (Eric Bana) immigrated to Australia from Yugoslavia with his wife Christina (Franka Potente) and their son Raimond (Kodi Smit-McPhee). Romulus works as a blacksmith and farmer to support his family: Christina is not happy with the confinement of marriage and motherhood and finds frequent reasons to have promiscuous jaunts away from her small house and maternal duties. Romulus and Raimond are very close and find ways to exist without Christina, especially when Christina has an extended affair with a family friend Mitru (Russell Dykstra) and has a child by him. Despite warm support from Raimond and his best friend Hora (Marton Csokas), Romulus decompensates and his radical behavior results in his hospitalization in a mental institution. How Raimond's bond with his beloved father endures despite the endless tragedies that befall his 'home' provides the closure of this tender memoir.
Nick Drake provides the screenplay from Gaita's book, Richard Roxburgh directs, Basil Hogios provides the sparse musical score for Geoffrey Simpson's magnificent cinematography of the desolate plains of Australia. But it is the solid performances by Eric Bana and Kodi Smit-McPhee as father and son that make this film so memorable. Grady Harp, April 08
Excellent movie - But painful to watch
Scarlett | USA | 07/02/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Without going into the plot- most other posts cover it here, I wanted to share my thoughts on this movie as well. It is a sad but very insightful view into a child's experiences as he watches his parents relationship develope into something so depressing and unhopeful. Despite that, I still loved this story because of the performances by the actors. This memoire reminds me of another memoire turned movie "This Boy's Life." The story is depressing the whole way through, but because of the actors/actresses, it becomes more realistic and gives you a reason to care what happens to these people.
Also, i forget the name of the person responsible for the cinematography on this movie, but it is outstanding! I wanted to keep each frame and each shot as a photograph and frame it on my wall, it is that good. The colors and the whole look of the picture, just takes you back to that particular time and place. It gives the sad movie a sense of peace and comfort where you would least expect to find it. I looked it up on IMDB, and seems like he also did the cinematography for Little Women, another movie with an excellent look/feel. Sometimes I would buy a movie to keep just for that reason - its like keeping a photograph book that takes you somewhere else everytime.
This is a very touching movie - It'll have you thinking about it long after the movie is over. And to learn that it was a true story and what has become of that child in the story, gives you assurance that it does have a good ending after all.
Its missing 1 star from perfection beccuase as much as I liked this movie, i dont know how many times i could watch it - even though i plan on buying this movie."
A FILM SO VISUALLY BEAUTIFUL IT COULD HAVE BEEN PHOTOGRAPHE
David Keymer | Modesto CA | 09/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yesterday, we watched the DVD of Romulus, My Father, which follows Raimond Gaita's memoir of his early life with his father scrupulously. On the way back to Dubai in 2003, I had come across philosopher Gaita's The Philosopher's Dog. I bought it, read it and passed it on to our philosopher son Jeremy (The Ecological Life) to read. Shortly after, Jeremy picked up Gaita's Romulus, My Father, and returned the favor by passing it on to me to read. I found it exceptionally well written and deeply moving.
Let me start by saying that the movie of Romulus, My Father is exquisitely filmed. It's all light and shadows, sepia browns and yellows in the back country of Australia, the movie analogue of those great photographs of the Depression by Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans. The acting, too, is first rate. Eric Bana (Munich) is a perfect choice for the father, conveying emotion even when still and displaying the essential gravity and weight of Gaita's working class father plays the father. ALL the actors are first rate. The story tells of young Rai's growing up caught between a strong, almost Old Testament father and an emotionally and mentally troubled mother who drifts in and out of the family wreaking havoc wherever she lands. Another virtue of the film is the dramatic use of stillness, which gives the viewer time to let his or her feelings grow of their own accord. The movie won several awards in Australia but received almost no critical notice in this country. That's a shame because it's really good."
Stunning emotional masterpiece
Kotori | Australia | 01/04/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In writing this review, I struggle to digest the film, to wipe my tears and construct a cohesive sentence...
Romulus my Father is a deeply moving story, tracing the path of one family as they struggle to survive as Australian immigrants, a mothers neglect and abandonment, and very great love.
Is the love between mother and son, father and son, husband and wife? It's all kind of hard to say, as in most families.
The heartwarming performance of Raimond as portrayed by our little Aussie actor, and Eric Bana's superbly executed Romulus is never sentimental, always harshly real but compassionately drawn.
I highly recommend this beautiful film, although it is a tearfest and if you have children you'll come away cherishing them all the more.
One explicit scene & moderate coarse language. Not suitable for kids.
Video special features include: There are a few bells and whistles thrown in behind the scenes with special features from the directors, interviews & commentaries - worth watching."