Siobhan Kennedy-Clarke’s classic film reviews
Our fictitious reviewer Siobhan (KayCee) didn't have much of an education but she's passionate about films
This is a weird one I don’t mind telling you its one of the strangest films you will ever see well apart from the arty ones that are supposed to be strange and don’t really make much sense. It was made in 1971 by the director Nic Roeg who specializes in unusual stuff he’s British but this is set in Australia.
What you sometimes find with films is that the actual “story” is not that important it’s just an excuse to look at some aspect of human behavior see I’ve been on the geek pills again I read stuff and its amazing what you can learn. What they’re looking at in this case is I reckon sexual awakening that’s the stage where a teenager who is still really a child starts having adult thoughts and by that I mean stirrings in the loins and stuff.
What they do in Walkabout is they show it in general and how it affects everyone of all races and types of people we’re usually attracted to people of our own kind of group because they are the ones who are around when we start getting the urge to experiment but it doesn’t have to be like that. I for instance did all my messing around and getting felt up and stuff with the boys in my class and the one above so they were all London people like me and they all watched the same TV programmes and wore the same jeans and things.
In Walkabout this is happening to Jenny Agutter – her from The Railway Children – who I guess is meant to be 16 or so. That’s what she looks like anyway she’s quite grownup and cool and kind of elegant even though she’s in the outback for days sweating like a pig in her school uniform yes guys, early 70s so it’s a very short skirt.
She’s doing that because her Dad freaked out when he took her and her little brother for a picnic and he started shooting at them and then killed himself. Jenny takes her brother off into the unknown and that’s a bit of growing up to do in itself ain’t it suddenly she’s like a mother with responsibility for him in a situation she never been in either. But like I say she’s cool and she gets on with it. What you find when you’ve got a little one to look after is that they can be scared or feel sick or be exhausted but you can’t you just have to keep going and hope and pray.
So suddenly these two city kids are in the middle of nowhere with weird animals and no water and nowhere to sleep so they just keep walking and they meet a young Aboriginal boy maybe a bit older than Jenny and he’s almost naked like tribes in hot places usually are just a sort of skirt between his undergrowth and the world.
You can see it going through her mind and his and the camera keeps focusing on her arse. Eventually Jenny and her brother reach safety and it seems like the Aboriginal boy isn’t as primitive as he made out he was I’m sure there’s other ‘messages’ in this film about honesty and deceiving and stuff but to be honest it’s tiring enough to watch and take at face value without getting brain strain at the same time. You really feel like you’re out there getting baked in the sun it’s a relief when they find safety.