Title – Gettin’ Square (2003)
Director – Jonathan Teplitzky (The Railway Man)
Cast – Sam Worthington, David Wenham, Timothy Spall, Gary Sweet, David Field, Freya Stafford
Plot – Fresh out of prison and looking to “get square”, Barry Wirth (Worthington) finds himself drawn back into the seedy underbelly of Surfers Paradise when his down on his luck friend Spit (Wenham) and his associate Dabba (Spall) call upon his services.
“Oh, I gotta get home. Who’s paying for my bus fare today?”
Review by Eddie on 22/09/2015
Released to critical acclaim and audience appreciation in the Australian Spring of 2003, a singular and pitch perfect scene in Railway Man and underseen Australian gem Burning Man director Jonathan Teplitzky crime caper flick, etched Gettin’ Square into the classic Australian film books and it all revolved around a simple question of who was in fact paying for Johnny Francis Spitieri’s bus fare home?
“Well excuse me, I am worried about it! I’m on medication, you know? Gotta pick up me methadone before five, otherwise I don’t get nothing ’til the morning. ‘Scuse me, your honor, do you know who’s paying for my bus fare today?”
Just a mere sampling of David Wenham’s character of Spit, an Australian comedy classic creation that these 12 years on still stands up as a high point of Wenham’s career and a cinematic peak of flip flop wearing, screw driver wielding petty criminals that only harbor the wish of “getting square”, forgoing a life of crime to enjoy the simple things is life and of course reach a point where they no longer have to worry about bus timetables. Spit and his frequent unlucky breaks truly are works of a leopard print jock wearing artist that create a film character for the ages.
Those who have viewed and remembered Gettin’ Square will understand why this scene has been singled out as a high point of the film and while it seems slightly exaggerating to say a single scene can elevate a movie to classic status in the case of Gettin’ Square its anything but. To say this is the only reason to watch this Coen Brothers/Guy Ritchie like film would be remiss however as there are many other reasons why Gettin’ Square is worth your time.
Filled with memorable characters like Timothy Spall’s Texas Steak House restaurant owner Darren ‘Dabba’ Barrington and David Field’s nasty cop Arnie DeViers and notable for an early lead entry in now Hollywood player Sam Worthington’s career, Gettin’ Square’s Queensland set locations brim with personality thanks to Teplitzky’s assured direction and the script by lawyer Chris Nyst, who no doubt drew much inspiration from his real life dealings to create such a hilariously realistic bunch of human beings, I in particular like to believe there is a real life Johnny Spit out there somewhere, keeping the dream alive.
A smartly constructed and energetic bite of Australiana tinged with a sharply strewn crime story that despite having a few to many unnecessary sub plots remains to this day highly enjoyable. Gettin’ Square is one of those rare Australian comedies and Australian films in general that can be enjoyed by anyone both near and far on the lookout for a film their likely to have passed by in years past.
4 extra loud flip flops out of 5