Top End Wedding
Ahlia Karam | 24/04/2019
Top End Wedding puts on show the wonders of Australia’s North and celebrates the true meaning of family.
The film quickly sets the scene, with Lauren (Miranda Tapsell) as a scrappy but hardworking soon-to-be associate lawyer under the thumb of her Cruella de Vil like boss. Her soon to be fiancé, Ned (Gwilym Lee) does not have the same passion for the law and is seemingly frustrated with his career path as a public prosecutor. Lauren’s boss Hampton (Kerry Fox) aka Cruella gives her 10 days off to have her wedding; the only catch is that those 10 days are starting immediately, and Lauren and Ned have barely done any planning.
Lauren and Ned rush to the Northern Territory, Lauren’s hometown, where she has always dreamt of getting married. The first sign of trouble is when Lauren’s father Trevor (Huw Higginson) picks them up from the airport in disarray and brings them to Lauren’s childhood home which is in even worse condition. As it turns out, Lauren’s mother Daffy (Ursula Yovich) has left, and Trevor is heart broken. Time is not on their side as Lauren and Ned venture around Australia’s top end in an attempt to bring Daffy home for the wedding. Back home Hampton, Trevor and Lauren’s Sister Girls are doing all they can to pull together a wedding in a matter of days. Through this journey we meet more and more of Lauren’s mob, scattered around the NT, each with a snippet of her mum’s story.
As often runs true for a person of mixed race in a Westernised society, Lauren struggles with understanding where she belongs. She yearns for further understanding of her Tiwi heritage and why her mother left it all behind. The further this adventure takes her the more she understands the true meaning of home.
Panning shots of Australia’s vast natural beauty make for a cinematically beautiful film. The soundtrack carefully plays with the sounds of the outback, intertwined with indigenous songs bringing to light the most intimate moments. The film is easily humorous without being crass. It plays on classic Australian humour that we all know and love.
It is also anchored in some world class performances from local Australian talent. What you will likely take away most from the movie, however, is the burgeoning quality of comedic and upbeat Australian cinematic content. Too often, Australian films are known for being brutal horrors, but Top End Wedding, the latest in a string of good but not great comedic, upbeat takes on Australian culture, will have you confident that in the near future that is not all Australian film will be known for.
Grab your mum and your nan too, you’re in for a few laughs.