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Entertainment Actor Russell Crowe And Romper Stomper
Monthly Entertainment Column
June 2002

Opinions from fans have been raised on how it is hard to accept Russell Crowe as Hando in this movie because it is hard to accept Crowe as that mean.  I agree, but this column is not about whether we like or not like our favorite actor in this movie, but is instead more on how the movie was communicated through its artistic details.

But first I want to comment that watching Crowe’s early movies are fun to watch.  Why?  Because these movies prove how his talent was apparent early on.  In Romper Stomper, the first noticeable trait about him is that his voice resonates and stands out.  This paired with his facial expressions makes him fun to watch. 

After watching Romper Stomper because of Crowe, I have listed here some observations that became apparent as I watched this movie from an artistic expression point of view:

  1. The blanket between Gabe and Hando as they discuss Gabe’s fit shows how the two are separating in their relationship.
  2. Other scenes to show how Hando and Gabe are over as a couple include the pasta eating scene in which Crowe does not eat and throws away the food.  Another scene is when Hando and the group are bashing the car in the garage while Davey is the one with Gabe in the house.  This further shows how Davey is slowly separating from the group which he proves when he leaves them.
  3. Gabe’s fits separate the main parts of the movie.  Before the first fit, Hando and Gabe are a couple.  After the first fit, Davey and Gabe are together.  After the second fit, Hando, Davey and Gabe are together and their relationships reach a climax at the beach in which Davey chooses Gabe.
  4. Hando’s death at beach is a kind of baptism cleansing.  Crowe is very convincing here.
  5. Love scenes:  Hando and Gabe are in “dirty/partying” surroundings.  Davey and Gabe are in clean/calm surroundings.
  6. The movie opens with “gooks” as residents and who get beat up by skinheads, and ends with “gooks” as tourists who look down on the skinheads beating themselves up.  This provides a balanced structure to the beginning and end.
  7. The red jacket stolen from the shop provides a visual image of the affection for Gabe.  Hando breaks the window to get the jacket to show his affection for her.  Davey goes back inside the building to retrieve it when the “gooks” are storming the skinheads’ “home.”
  8. The appearance of Gabe’s hair shows the changes in her relationships.  In the first scene where she is leaving her drug-taking boyfriend, her hair is curled at top.  After she meets Hando, her hair is down.  After the mansion scenes, the beginning of the end of her relationship with Hando, Gabe curls her hair at top again.  This shows how she’s leaving Hando as she did the previous boyfriend who she couldn’t stay with anymore.  She goes to see Davey.  After love scene with Davey, her hair is down and not curled.
  9. In the mall scene where Crowe, Davey and Gabe are horsing around, Crowe pulls Gabe in between himself and Davey.  This foreshadows the end at the beach scene.
  10. The quick cutting of the camera between the Hando/Gabe love scenes and Davey punching the bag shows how Davey desires the same from Gabe.  Davey hurts his hand and Gabe bandages it.  This begins the affection between the two.
  11. The theme of outcasts is shown by when the skinheads go to take over the two, gay men’s warehouse home.  These homosexuals are like outcasts, and the skinheads, also as outcasts, take over the warehouse home.  Gabe, who has her fits, is in a way also an outcast.
  12. A decision had to be made whether to make a stand at their home or run away when the “gooks” were storming their home.  Crowe says to stay and fight.  Davey says to run away.  They choose Davey’s way.  This shows the separation between Davey and Hando.
  13. There are also ironies.  The knife which Hando helps to buy for Davey is the same knife Davey uses to kill Hando.  Another irony is how subtitles are used to communicate the “gooks’” dialogue and when Davey goes home, subtitles are used to communicate his grandmother’s “foreign language.”  And Davey, himself, talks to his grandmother in this “foreign language” which had to be subtitled.

These are some of the details that stand out to me from the movie.  Next time you watch Romper Stomper, you may also find other details not mentioned here.   

Should you wish not to watch Romper Stomper from the artistic expression value, there are many scenes to appreciate the movie for its entertainment value.  For example, there is that scene at the bottom of the stairs when Crowe moves Davey from the stairs to the floor.


 

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