The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

January 28, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

When you think of the harsh and untamed outback of Australia, do transvestites and drag queens also come to mind? Maybe not, but that won’t stop Mitzi, Felicia, and Bernadette from braving the heat and wilds of the outback to perform at a show in the middle of nowhere. While the show is not something the three have to do, each has their reasons for taking the journey into the wilderness. Bernadette (Terence Stamp) is an aging transvestite who looks to live life to the fullest, Mitzi (Hugo Weaving) is the assumed leader of the group, and Felicia (Guy Pearce) is the flashy, outrageous one. The three travel through the outback in Priscilla, their beaten up tour bus which is serviced by Bob (Bill Hunter), the mechanic on this voyage. With their safe and plush lives left behind in Sydney, the three are on a mission, and nothing is gonna stop them from achieving their goals.

This is a hilarious movie, which also features excellent music and costumes. While some might pass this by as a “gay” movie, it really isn’t, and holds a little something that everyone can enjoy. The disco soundtrack moves with the movie without a hitch, and the dancing is just plain entertaining. One factor that helps the movie succeed is the casting, which turns some men into drag queens that you would never expect. I mean, who would have guessed we’d see Terence Stamp in a dress? This adds even more humor to the already hilarious writing, which really makes for an enjoyable movie. The visual style of the film exudes fun, with heavy use of bright colors and decor. The costumes are very impressive, even winning the movie an Oscar for Best Costuming. I recommend this movie to comedy and musical fans, and suggest a viewing for all readers. While the subject matter may turn some away, I think the movie defies the limitations of being a “gay” or drag queen movie.

As I mentioned above, the casting for this movie is excellent, and puts some men in drag you’d never expect. I would never imagined I’d be seeing tough guy Terence Stamp dressed in drag. But I’ll be dipped, here he is, in full regalia! If this isn’t reason enough to watch this movie, I don’t know what is. While Stamp (The Limey, Superman) doesn’t look good in a dress, his acting is up to his usual high standard. Hugo Weaving, who most you know as the agent from The Matrix (“Good-bye…Mr. Anderson”), also gives a wonderful turn here, supplying a steady, subtle performance to offset the flashy turns of other actors. While these two are good, I feel that Guy Pearce (Ravenous, L.A. Confidential) steals this show, with his over the top portrayal, and also has some of the best lines in the film. The supporting cast includes Mark Holmes, Julia Cortez (Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie), Sarah Chadwick (Gross Misconduct), and Bill Hunter (Strictly Ballroom, Muriel’s Wedding).

Video: How does it look?

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is presented in a 2.35:1 widescreen transfer, which is no enhanced for widescreen televisions. Aside from some grain and minor compression artifacts, this is a solid transfer. Since the visuals are dripping with colors, I expected some bleeding or oversaturation, but this occurred rarely, and only for brief instances. The colors look excellent, flowing off the screen with vibrance. The black levels are well done also, providing contrast to those lush hues. The shadow depth is deep and natural, and detail loss is minimal.

Audio: How does it sound?

A Dolby Digital 2.0 surround track is implemented for the audio, and it really brings the movie to life. This movie is driven by two things, music and dialogue, and both come through well on this track. The soundtrack sounds outstanding, and has a very full texture. If you like disco, you’ll be in heaven with this disc. The dialogue doesn’t get lost in the music though, every word is clear and crisp, with no volume issues to contend with.

Supplements: What are the extras?

The disc includes the theatrical and teaser trailers, as well as some production notes, which are found on the case’s insert.

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