‘True History of the Kelly Gang’ Review: A Punk-Rock Outlaw Tale Covered in a Thick Layer of Grime [TIFF 2019]
Posted on Saturday, September 7th, 2019 by Chris Evangelista
Ned Kelly may be the main subject of Justin Kurzel‘s True History of the Kelly Gang, but the real star of the film is grime. Grime, grime and more grime cover nearly every frame of this loud, rip-roaring punk-rock outlaw film. The premise: everything you’ve heard about infamous Australian outlaw Edward “Ned” Kelly is wrong, and Ned himself is going to set the story straight. Of course, the irony is that the “true” story isn’t true at all – there’s even an opening title card to remind us that “nothing we’re about to see is true.”
This schizophrenic approach blankets the film as a whole (along with all that grime), as Kurzel smashes and crashes his way through one wild scene after another. The end result is a bit of a mess, but what an entertaining mess it is. You may not learn a damn thing about the real Ned Kelly from this movie, but you sure as shit won’t be bored.