Swinging Safari is the latest home grown Australian film to reach our cinemas, and let me tell you, unlike many other attempts at conveying the Aussie lifestyle on the big screen, this one does not disappoint.

The film is bought to us by the glorious Stephan Elliott, who also directed what I believe is the best Aussie flick of all time, The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. It follows the extraordinarily ordinary lives of the Marsh, Jones and Hall families, who all live in a small Australian town in the 1970’s that has just become the new home of a beached 200-ton blue whale.

Swinging Safari is so ridiculously relatable, it’ll have you smiling with glee or laughing even when it isn’t supposed to be fun—which is not very often, to be honest. The film is packed full of awkward and often crass Cockney and Aussie slang that anyone raised in Australia will find comforting, though foreign audiences may find the language a little confusing. Each of the neighbouring families in the film is an entirely different type of bat-shit crazy that is truly reminiscent of those that you would find in any average suburban street in country Australia.

You’ll be confronted with dead pets, pets that should be dead, shitty parenting skills, parents who urge their spawn to do as they please, kids who set other kids on fire on film, kids who are happier staying away from the spotlight and wives who want to get it on with each others husbands who then later decide that they hate each other. Basically, it’s just a really confusing and outrageous, yet completely realistic, rollercoaster ride.

The film’s 70’s get up’s and gear is absolutely awesome to see in a modern day film, and I’m sure it’d be appreciated even more so by those that were around to experience it the first time around. Unfortunately, I am not one of these people, and I went to see this film with a fellow Gen-Y. Though we both had smiles on our faces the entire duration of the movie and thought the film was absolutely wicked, I guarantee that there were a couple of references that went straight over our heads.

So, my recommendation would be, if you do plan on going to see this stunning piece of Aussie film—which you really should do—is to take your parents along with you. There’s nothing better than to see the reactions of people from different generations when you’re watching a film set in an earlier time period. It makes the viewing experience so much better when you are surrounded by that enthusiasm.

Swinging Safari is, dare I say it, the best piece of film to come out of Australia in a damn long time. With a bang to open, a lot of banging in the middle and a great, big, bloody bang to finish, it certainly isn’t short on cinematic pleasure.

 

Swinging Safari is in cinemas now.