Set in South Africa in 1901, Breaker Morant is an Australian film that follows the Boer War. A team of Australian Bushveldt Carbineers are given orders to take on the enemy and leave no man alive. But these orders land Lieutenant Harry Morant and two other men on trial for executing and murdering prisoners.
Breaker Morant, to my surprise, is not only an Australian war film; for the most part, it’s also a court drama. I’m not big on history, nor could I tell you anything about what occurred during the Boer War. Even if you are not into war or history films (like myself), Breaker Morant still manages to be a fascinating watch.
Firstly, this film has been labelled as one of the most acclaimed Australian movies ever made. I could see why this is the case from the film’s first act alone. With tremendous filming style and cinematography, as well as some good old fashioned Australian horseback riding, I found myself quite engaged with the story. My curiosity to know the outcome of our leading men who were on trial only grew. Performances, like the plot, are great. Jack Thompson, Bryan Brown and Edward Woodward (Harry “Breaker” Morant) all worked well together at all times, and they brought such a touching story to life with their dramatic and convincing work.
Thanks to Australian distribution Umbrella Entertainment, Breaker Morant has received a fantastic Blu-ray release part of their Sunburn Screens collection. This release includes an all-new commentary from the director Bruce Beresford, the film’s producer, and even commentary from the key cast, including Jack Thompson and Bryan Brown. Feature-length documentaries about the film and photos, along with so much more, are also included. While the film was originally filmed in 1980, the audio track still holds up rather nicely thanks to a new DTS-HD 5.1 audio track. Along with genuinely enjoying the audio, it amazed me how an older film could look this great.
Overall, there’s a reason why Breaker Morant is classed as a classic Australian motion picture film. With a solid line-up from the top performers, the film delivers both a war film and a courtroom drama. Even if you are not a history or war film lover (like myself), the film can grab your attention early on, and viewers will be interested to know the outcome. Considering the film’s age, the visuals are lovely, and the audio track is impressive, thanks to a pleasant and updated DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix.