The Hard Word Review

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Dale, Mal and Shane are a trio of bank-robbing Australian brothers, released from jail to commit crimes for bent lawyers and cops. But lawyer Frank is bedding Dale's wife Carol, so when he asks them to do a million dollar heist, his loyalty is under suspicion.


Guy Pearce and Rachel Griffiths - it's a dream indie Aussie pairing, and one that typifies the sleazy cool of this black comedy. Pearce is a greasy ponytail with a head for heists; Griffiths a distractingly blonde nymphet with bad taste in clothing and men like slimy lawyer Frank.

It's this love triangle that drives the plot of The Hard Word, but there's nothing the film loves more than to pause from the action and make some crazy observations about its characters. Youngest brother Shane, for example, is given to reliving the bedroom moments shared with his mother and her lesbian lover by attempting to suck on his therapist's breasts (in a typical moment of shock hilarity, she lets him).

Peripheral characters, though, are often sketchy which, combined with patchy pacing, gives the film an amateurish tinge you may only forgive when the final showdown has delivered its punch.

Like its trio of heroes, The Hard Word is rough around the edges, but so delightfully eccentric and darkly funny it's hard to resist.