Touted as having 'much to say about the present state and potential future of the nation', Australia Day flails around helplessly due to being fragmented, unstructured and somewhat muddled with a narrative with no core focus. Director Kriv Stenders and screenwriter Stephen M Irwin have certainly delivered a film which has much movement and action - all the characters seems to spend most of their time running - down suburban streets, alleyways, across bridges, out of police stations, hospitals, warehouses and so it goes.
The film is intended to have a series of Intertwined Stories which touch on a range of social issues, possibly. But just when the viewer may be forgiven for seeing what appears to be some form of a story, it dissipates like a mirage. The intertwined stories, so termed, involve various characters - an Aboriginal girl on the run after a fatal vehicle accident (but it could be an issue of domestic violence and/or murder), an escaped sex slave running to a bankrupt farmer who in turn is planning to commit suicide at a media conference, some Anglo Australian youth assaulting a Muslim youth whom was dating one of their sisters. This young man's brother then assaults the same Anglo youth and so on. Yet nothing is this film actually travels anywhere.
The production values are high with excellent photography, aerial shots, camera angles supported by a highly effective music score and sound. The acting however is very so so. Bryan Brown (as the farmer) is, as usual, only acting as Bryan Brown with the other cast members appearing to spend most of their time shouting or screaming at each other. If this is the social observation which the film makers wish to convey about modern Australia, it's not very convincing.