Opened: January 9, 2020
Directed by: Justin Kurzel
Starring: George MacKay, Essie Davis, Nicholas Hoult, Russell Crowe, Orlando Schwerdt, Sean Keenan, Jacob Collins-Levy, Thomasin McKenzie, Claudia Karvan, Marlon Williams, Gentle Ben Corbett, Earl Cave, Louis Hewison & Charlie Hunnam
With a wild premise and a graphic approach, True History of the Kelly Gang won’t appeal to many viewers but is an enthralling production.
Ellen Kelly (Essie Davis) sells her young son Ned (Orlando Schwerdt) to be an indentured servant to bushranger Harry Power (Russell Crowe). Ned learns how to kill with Harry and, as an adult (George MacKay), forms a gang to murder policemen.
MacKay and Davis both give electrifying performances. With realistic tension and anger, they show a dynamic mother-son relationship that has many flaws, though they always remain loyal.
Bloodshed and gruesome acts – other than the usual murder by guns – are shown almost in their entirety, and some will find it hard to look at the screen while others will find it hard to look away.
Final say: A polarizing partly true story. ★★★☆☆