In composing texts, composers strive to carry across a voice. A voice, which is distinctive due to the various ideologies, it brings to the fore. ‘The Castle’ a film, directed by Rob Sitch, is such a text, where the composer creates a ‘distinctly’ Australian voice’ through the examination of such thematic concern as family, mateship and the little Aussie battlers. By portraying these ideas, the film adopts a unique Australian tone since the Australian culture embodies such sentiments; these sentiments are represented through the composer use of specific features.
In viewing the film ‘The Castle’, the most central message about Australia being presented is to do with Family value. It is gathered that individual enables to gain the continual support that a cohesive family unit provides and the family as symbol stability in individual lives. The Kerrigan’s, are the perfect representation of the traditional Australian family. They are a family, which eats dinner together at the same time every night, with Darryl, unfailingly complementing Sal on her cooking. They love each other and respect each other, and even though Wayne is in jail for armed robbery they are all as proud of him as each other. Rob Sitch tries to show us the high self-esteem of family members and their ability to respond constructively to other people and life, apparently where the composer applies Dale Kerringan’s voice over, “Dad had a way of making everyone feel special.” This voice-over comment is reinforced with visuals of Darryl individually praising family members and also through the dialogue, for example, “Go on, tell them, tell them…Dale dug a hole.” In addition, the facial expressions, constant smiles show us as responders their emotional happiness. Despite their to some extent typical Australian foolishness we see that they are a family that is close-kit and supportive.
In addition, Rob Sitch explores how mateship, which is very much valued in Australian society, provides individual constant support. This film shows the cast as always being there for one another. The first thing that Darryl does when he gets his eviction notice is run to Jacks house to check on him. This sort of caring relationship is shown continually throughout the film and I believe it is put forward as the foundation of the Australian relationships. A prime example of mate ship in the castle is the scenario in which Denis represents Darryl despite his lack competence in the area. Denis is used to dealing with small things such as conveyancing wills and probate not constitutional law.
We believe that entering into this case with no idea of what he is doing and only representing Darryl out of mate ship is a perfect example of what Australians are like, Dennis was a little short on specifics, arguing that Darryl’s case violates the “vibe” of the Australian constitution. Dennis was willing to chuck himself in the deep end of the pool all for the sake of helping out a mate. Moreover, the equality of mateship is also seen in the way Darryl is concerned and feels obliged to help his neighbour Jack, Farouk and Evonne:’It’s not because it’s a home… It’s Jack’s castle, Farouk’s castle…’ At this point of the film, we come to realise how important mateship is and in how they look after their ‘mates’.
Progressively, as the film develops other values come to the surface, specifically, we see the voice of the little aussie battler’ and how composer portrays a distinctly Australian voice of individual protest against bureaucracy and powerful multinationals. This notion is seen through Darryl’s determination to fight on, evidently where Rob Sitch applies the following comment:’ Im starting to understand the Aborigines. This house is like their land-it’s their memories.
This country has got to stop stealin’ other people’s land’. This comment also shows responders tone, despair, sincere understanding and emotional connections to his house and he is trying his best to protect it. The voice of battler is most evident where Rob Sitch utilizes the juxtaposition of costuming, Darryl’s casualness and the class associations of his flannelette shirt suggests sincerity and warmth, positioning the responder to sympathise with this character against the uncaring bureaucratic system that the councilwoman represents. This heartlessness is conveyed in a mid-shot of the councilwoman, leant back with an impassive expression and her formal costuming implies distance. As a audience we fully understand how many obstacles the charecters have to overcome in order to protect their ‘castle’.
In conclusion, ‘The castle’ takes the viewers to creation of a distinctly Australian voice, which can influence our understanding of Australian cultures and values. Particularly, Rob Sitch depicts a number of Australian voices, the voice of the Australian family is dominant, reflecting how love and support are central to identify of Kerrigans, the voice of mateship and how they support and look after each others, the voice of battler and the way the protest against bureaucracy in order to protect their family, their friends and their home.