An extremely powerful gut punch of a film. It hits you even more because of the humor and the camaraderie of these guys. Man, I love Peter Weir. "What are your legs?" "Springs. Steel springs." "What are they going to do?" "Hurl me down the track." "How fast can you run?" "As fast as a leopard." "How fast are you going to run?" "As fast as a leopard!" "Then let's see you do it!"
A very underrated film, both in Weir's filmography war movies and coming of age films. At a lecture with Weir, he said he wanted to challenge Ingmar Bergman's theory that audiences will suspend disbelief for anything but killing someone. Let's just say Weir gave Bergman a run for his money. And that end freeze frame...
The first 70 minutes is essentially a road movie (albeit one with an underlying sense of impending doom given the historical context) with the second half playing out like a more traditional war flick. Like most Weir films it's sweeping yet simple and somewhat uneven at times but somehow this one works so much better. Plus, it features my favorite Weirism: that fantastically 80s synth soundtrack.
"Gallipoli is not as much a war movie as it is a road picture with the Battle of Gallipoli as the destination." - Celluloid Heroes. Featuring a not-yet-tainted Mel Gibson, sumptuous alien landscapes, and a devastating denouement, Gallipoli is one of Weir's finer efforts and a powerful anti-war statement. The final shot is brutal in its perfection.