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Gallipoli Movie Review

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The film Gallipoli takes place during World War I's Gallipoli campaign in 1915. The two main characters in the film are Archy and Frank. Archy and Frank are from Western Australia and they both enlist to fight in Gallipoli. Archy is an extremely fast runner who meets Frank at an athletics competition. We can see from the beginning that Archy is eager to join the war. After being turned down because he was underage, he goes to Perth, anxious for someone to accept him into the light horsemen. Frank, however, is skeptical about Australians wanting to join the war. He tells Archy that it's "not our war to fight". Despite this statement, Frank eventually joins up into the Infantry.

The story revolves around Frank and Archy's experiences during the war, including their training in Egypt and on the beach of Gallipoli, as well as in the trenches. The mood of the film changes from light-hearted to somber, when at first Frank is thrilled to be reunited with his friends who signed up into the infantry, while later he realizes the terrible consequences of war. Said consequences become apparent as Frank's friends are killed and also when Archy must run up out of the trenches, only to face his own death.

It would seem to me that Gallipoli is not a war drama; war dramas are more subtle. Gallipoli came across as a film about mate-ship and honor. The relationship between Archy and Frank, the two protagonists in the film, is designed to symbolize and exemplify the old Australian concept of mate-ship. (Gammage)

The central characters, Archy and Frank, have two obviously contrasting personalities. Archy is a patriotic young man who is strong, courageous and determined to fight for his country in World War I. Frank, on the other hand, is cunning, more realistic and cynical. In the beginning of the film, they compete with each other in a running race, and they also disagree with each other about the meaning of fighting at war. After a series of difficult adventures, the feelings of truth and companionship grow between Archy and Frank. Their bond of mate-ship leads to the end of their disagreement about war, which results in Frank's joining up in the end. Archy and Frank stick together through all of the war training exercises in Egypt and they fight together on the front at Gallipoli.

Another element of mate-ship is shown in the last part of the film. When the final battle of Gallipoli approaches, Archy persuades Major Barton to assign Frank as his runner because Archy knows that Frank does not have as much commitment as he does on the fighting service. Archy gets Frank a safer position and decided to sacrifice his own life for his best mate. (Gammage)

Some more ideals that are glorified in the film are bravery and honor. The experiences at Gallipoli gave Australians a new identity which made them distinguishable from any other nation. At the start of the film we see that almost everyone wants to enlist in the war. Although many Australian men enlist totally naive to the dangers awaiting them, once they are in Gallipoli they fight fearlessly, with the attitude that they are doing it for their country. Anyone who is studying Australian history would do well to watch this film. The film is historically accurate which means that students can use it as a direct source of information and evidence. The fact that the film is portrayed as a dramatized story makes the many aspects of Australia and its participation of World War I much easier to understand than a any text book would. (Broadbent)


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