Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Blind Spot Series: The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert


I think there is a trend with my picks this year as so far I've said 'I can't believe I haven't seen this film'. Priscilla is no different. Once seen a fabulous sounding road trip movie when I was younger now a fantastic story of discovery (for myself) and the realisation that this film existed in the 90s. The story has spanned the globe through the power of music and theatre and nothing is more powerful than that. In fact another of my picks for Blind Spot was turned into a sensation through musical theatre but more of that later in the year. Priscilla has been known as the film about three drag queens going on a road trip to Alice Springs. All fans and admirers of the film know it's much more.

Tick, a drag queen from Sydney is asked to perform at a venue in Alice Springs. After her husband dies unexpectedly he convinces Bernadette to accompany him on the trip and show. Young Adam joins the duo on the road on the bus christened 'Priscilla' set for a desert adventure. On the way they get to rehearse they're cabaret act with fantastic rendition of 'I Will Survive' and Bob the mechanic, a fan,  who joins them on their quest.

It's not all glitz and amazing costumes, these three are artists. Even though they try to dumb themselves down by saying they lipsync to other people's songs and dress in women's clothes, they are performers and go all out for the smallest of shows. Each of them have their own issues and insecurities which are explored but to the point of dramatising them which allows the film to explore the characters as well as the bigger issues of intolerance. 


It's always a delight to see actors step outside their 'comfort' zone but when you're seeing actors play roles they played before they were household Hollywood names you start to yearn for them to go back to how they were. Guy Pearce, Hugo Weaving and Terrace Stamp each stand out in their own way and are never over shadowed by each other. They share the screen together and despite the character squabbles they work perfect harmony with each other.


One of the crowning glory moments in the film is when Tick realises his son he barely knows accepts who is without a second thought. Of course this would be a bit of a fairytale ending or beginning depending on how you look at it, but within the film, it's a moment of relief and the hope things will be ok for this character. 

A favourite scene of mine is where the three companions climb King's Canyon to fulfil Adam's dream of climbing up in full drag. It's visually fantastic but it's also satisfying that they were able to do so. A triumphant end to epic journey.


To see where it all started and for an excellent insight to film, have a look at The Matinee and HERE for more Blind Spot posts from other bloggers.

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