THE ADVENTURES OF PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE
DIRECTOR: STEPHEN ELLIOTT
CINEMATOGRAPHY: BRIAN J. BREHENY
MUSIC: GUY GROSS
CAST: Terence Stamp, Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce, Bill Hunter
WRITTEN BY: Stephen Elliott
SUPER FEATURES: Some very funny moments, and a total kick.
While unpleasant in many ways for some people since the subject here is cross dressing, this film, is, nevertheless, rather funny, and extremely enjoyable.
It is the story of three friends, who happen to dress up as women and are doing various shows in the middle of the Australian continent. And to get there, they get a bus, and live in it until they reach their destination, which is one of the members' wife lives and operates a club. There they will do a bunch of shows, and then return to reality, or, life in Sydney, where things are a bit more normal and entertaining than otherwise.
In between, is one of the largest arrays of the most fun things I have seen in a long time. The rehearsals are great, and the moments atop the touring bus are without a doubt, some of the most surreal and fun moments, this otherwise, sad, film has to offer.
The three entertainers have a series of problems along the way, most of them dealing with a few of the communities, to whom dressing in drag means that one is gay, and has aids. These three may be gay, but they seem to be all too interested in their work, rather than their personal relationships. They may have been together in the past, but are not now, and do not engage in any activity that suggests anything other than a professional arrangement, and a mutual like for each other.
The numbers are nice, and some are very good, and well done. In between all these events are Felicia, who has a streak for the blunt and to get himself in trouble, and take on a whole town if he feels like it. Bernice, is the most experienced and professional of all of them, and maintains her cool better than usual, but he also has some desires for a major change. The third member, is more concerned about his child and wife (they are not divorced yet), and how they will be received. She has had her share of gay affairs, is a nice lady, and has brought up the kid to accept the way that some people are. The kid has less problems with dad dressing up than the dad does. And he is looking forward to getting out of town for a change and going to see new frontiers as a kid.
While this film is not great by any means, the story tends to make us like the dressers, but dislike the way they are treated, for being normal people, they are nevertheless, a bit too enamored with their infatuation, in a society where it is not widely permissible to be gay. Thus the gay community tend to hide in clothing which might not be considered well fit but for women.
But what makes this film fun, is the array of jokes and rehearsals done everywhere you can imagine. And if you have not seen Felicia rehearse her opera numbers, you have not had a good laugh lately. Extremely outrageous, and fun. And living life to the fullest.
Terence Stamp is magnificent, and very consistent as Bernice, not Bernie, as are his two friends. They have their shows down pat, and while we may think that they are a bit boring, some touches in the show are extremely nice, and the costumes and lights for each show are magnificent.
The other part that is magnificent is the Australian countryside displayed at every chance that it gets.
There are some fun things in life, and seeing some people take those fun things in life to the fullest is one of the pleasures that awaits many of us in this film. Sometimes it isn't quite so much fun, but in the end it all works out for the best. The show still goes on. Bernie may have retired, but the other two, who are much younger, are still living on.... and at home, amidst a more appreciating audience, they can even have a laugh, as is the case in the last line of the film.
An excellent show case of acting by the three leads, and worth every minute of it. It is easy to turn this film into a joke and not take the characters seriously, but this film does so faithfully, and without a hitch. All three have their own idiosyncrasies, and they manage to make through each and everyday on the bus, on the way to their destination. Bad tank of gas and all. And this is the way this film is. It may have faults, not be the best in the world, but it has the right spirit and faithfulness, which keeps it going, and never let it die.
Worth while film.
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