Film Review – The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson

The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson (MA)

Directed by: Leah Purcell

Starring: Leah Purcell, Rob Collins, Sam Reid

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Review by: Julian Wright

An Australian western with a spin, The Drover’s Wife tells the story, set in 1893 Snowy Mountains, of one strong woman against a number of harsh elements – the Australian outback and society.

While her husband is away driving cattle, heavily pregnant Molly Johnson (Leah Purcell) raises their four young children and protects their property in the middle of the sprawling, baron outback.

When Aboriginal man Yadaka (Rob Collins), who is on the run from the law, arrives to seek shelter, deep secrets are revealed and revelations are made about Molly’s dark past, sparking a chain of events that show the lengths Molly will go to protect her children.

There are many surprises and gut punch moments throughout this often riveting and harrowing story of one woman fiercely protecting her children and her fight to survive, however the slow pacing at times betrays the suspense and emotional impact of the story.

There is no denying that Purcell is a powerhouse having taken on so many roles in the making of this film – writer, producer, director and actor – having adapted her own acclaimed play.

This is clearly a deeply personal film for her and one that she has so delicately brought to the screen. there is an apparent care about how this has been put together.

An added bonus is the incredible composition and breathtaking scenery, captured beautifully in the widescreen format.

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