Lucky Miles

 
Directed by: Michael James Rowland
Written by:Michael James Rowland, Helen Barnes
Starring: Kenneth Moraleda, Rodney Afif, Sri Sacdpraseuth, Glen Seha, Sean Mununggurr, Don Hany
Released: July 19, 2007
Grade: B-

A group of Iraqis and Cambodians have travelled from Indonesia to Australia on a tiny boat.  They have paid big money for the trip and are looking to start a new, prosperous life in Australia.  The owner of the boat has left them on a beach with instructions to climb the large sand dunes.  On the other side, they’ll find a bus stop which will take them to Perth.

They soon learn that they have been taken for fools.  There is no bus and there isn’t even a road.  There’s nothing but dirt and sand in every direction.  They boat operator has taken their cash and fled back to Indonesia (to find more suckers).

Their arrival hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Australian military.  They have sent a three-man army unit to drive around the area in their jeep and look for any sign of these illegal aliens.  For these army guys, it’s a very boring assignment.  They pass the time by kicking the football around and going for a swim at an isolated watering hole.

Most of the new arrivals are captured but three remain lost in the harsh Pilbara Desert.  They are trying to find their way to Perth, unknowing that it’s 2,000 kilometres away.  Good fortune is keeping them alive and helping them evade their potential captors.  It’s a humorous journey of an unlikely trio on an even unlikely journey.  Will they find what they are looking for in this “paradise” that is Australia?

This is a curious idea for a film but I think it will struggle to find an audience.  There are no big-name actors, it is set entirely in a remote desert and there are large portions of subtitles.  Lovers of Australian cinema will be interested but there aren’t enough of them in this country.

Lucky Miles a decent comedy which makes light of a topical issue.  It’s not trying to make a political statement regarding illegal immigrants and detention centres – it’s just trying to have a bit of fun.  It succeeds to an extent but I think it’s a fairly thin plot when considering its 105 minute running time.  My attention span was waning after about an hour.