Film / Paradise Road
"It is our Paradise Road... How silent is this place."
is a 1997 war film by Australian director Bruce Beresford, starring Glenn Close
, Frances McDormand
, and Julianna Margulies. It is also notable as containing one of a young Cate Blanchett
's very first film roles.
The film charts the journey of a group of women from Australia, the USA, the UK and the Netherlands as they are taken prisoner by the Japanese in World War 2
. One of the women, Adrienne Pargiter (Close), decides to start a vocal orchestra to lift the spirits of the inmates, but the domineering Japanese guards want to put a stop to it.
Based on stories of women who survived internment in Japanese POW camps, Paradise Road is a story of hope, courage and survival. It is studied in Australian schools
as an example of conflict, Australian history
, and women's stories.
Tropes included in this film:
- America Saves the Day: Topsy hopes 'her boys' will invoke this, and by dropping bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki they kind of do.
- Though Australia is mentioned to be chasing the Japanese soldiers around the Pacific Islands and this is arguably more threatening.
- Break the Cutie: The movie.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Glenn Close's character is locked in a cage in full sun, and Cate Blanchett's character is made to kneel surrounded by spikes, in the Sumatran sun, for two days and a night.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Dozens of Japanese fighter planes versus a passenger boat full of women and children.
- Due to the Dead: The notable examples would be the first funeral in the camp where we get the first Title Drop, and Margaret/Daisy's funeral where the women, after being taunted by the Smug Snake, pick up stones and play a march.
- Not That Kind of Doctor: Dr. Verstak keeps herself alive by broadcasting that she is a doctor. Toward the end of the movie, she reveals to the women that she is a doctor of philosophy. However, her husband was a physician and she does have some medical knowledge.
- Plucky Girl: Cate Blanchett's character Susan is the most obvious example but almost all the protagonists to some extent.
- Punch Clock Villain: The bald Japanese guard who sings to Glenn Close, and the interpreter who was conscripted and used to be a schoolteacher.
- Smug Snake: The Japanese Secret Police member.
- Stiff Upper Lip: The British characters.
- Title Drop: Starts off as something vaguely hopeful when Margaret gives the eulogy at Wing's funeral but ends up a euphemism for dying.