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The Castle Review

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The Kerrigan family live close to Melbourne Airport, in a house they affectionately call "The Castle". When airport authorities want to move them out for expansion, dad Darryl takes his battle to the highest court in the land.

★★★★

No one laughs at themselves like the Australians, and this comedy is fuelled by that uniquely hearty, very endearing self-deprecation. A comic fairy tale of a little man taking on the big guys to save his home, The Castle is in the same spirit as Muriel's Wedding, a bizarre rib-tickler with surprising poignance which revels in sending up "normality".

The Kerrigan family of Cooloroo are dim bulbs one and all. But like The Simpsons cross-bred with The Brady Bunch Movie they are loving and loyal to each other and irrepressibly cheerful. Tow trucker dad Darryl (Caton) is aglow with pride that daughter Tracey (Sophie Lee) is the first in the family to obtain a "tertiary" education (she's got her hairdressing certificate) and that his bird-brained sons (Curry, Anthony Simcoe and Wayne Hope) are chips off the block who hang on his trite but positive life wisdom. He never fails to be delighted by the homemaking projects of his wife Sal (Tenney).

Crisis intrudes when their humble abode — and his "pool room", a shrine of kitsch — is put under compulsory purchase order to extend the adjacent airport and Darryl's battle to save his eyesore of a castle goes all the way to the highest court in the land. Nothing very big or ambitious occurs, no confrontations with bulldozers, no media circus — just a stream of affectionately-drawn characters and ludicrously hilarious comments chronicling Darryl's dogged insistence that he and his shall not be moved.

Shot in ten days and made collectively by the D-Generation comedy team — a group formed at university who have become popular innovators in Australian radio and TV — this is inanity elevated to a jubilantly funny and optimistic fable, beautifully acted wi