True History of the Kelly Gang

True History of the Kelly Gang ★★½

The first half of this film is very strong. It very effectively depicts the harsh life in the wilds of Australia, and gives us an understanding of the desperation that the people of the time must have felt.

Then the time jump happens. As effective and emotional as the story of Kelly’s childhood is, much of it is wasted by a messy, unfocused and poorly paced second half depicting Kelly as an adult. Any sense of flow and cause/effect is gone, leading the second half to feel more like just a bunch of scenes haphazardly thrown together. It’s a shame, as the story of Ned Kelly is great, but this film simply failed to effectively tell it.

Thankfully the film is beautiful. The cinematography is gorgeous, filled with wide shots of the Australian plains. The visuals alone go a long way to saving this film.