Far and away the best Australian comedy ever made, The Castle is a must-see movie. Brilliantly observed, funny, heart-warming and if you’re not punching the air at the triumphant ending I fear for the state of your soul.
The Kerrigan family are threatened with eviction by a nasty corporation. But ‘a man’s home is his castle’ so they fight it through the courts and… (last second spoiler alert!)… win.
It taps into some deeply felt Australian myths. It’s about home and land – with overt references to aboriginal land rights. It’s about family and mateship and a fair go. Most of all it’s the myth of the little Aussie battler winning through.
Or is it?
In the story, Darryl Kerrigan (right) is completely helpless. He’s all at sea in a legal world far beyond his understanding. As much as he wants to protect his family, he’s absolutely powerless. His fate, and the fate of his household, lies with one of two advocates.
First, Dennis Denuto (left) makes terrible representation (see below). All is lost.
But a saviour is found in Lawrence Hammill QC (centre). Everything changes the minute ‘Lawrie’ utters those words, “I’d like to appear on your behalf – gratis… free!”
To the court, Darryl Kerrigan only looked as good as his representative. When his representative was poor, his case was thrown out. When his representative was good, he was utterly vindicated. His destiny lay in the hands of his advocate.
As an audience, we have a soft spot for the Kerrigans. But Lawrie wins our hearts. Only the emotionally constipated could watch his final speech (not shown above) with dry eyes.
The Castle’s not about a working class hero who never gave up. This is not the story of one man standing against the powers that be – much as we love that myth. It’s about the powerful one stepping down for the weak. It’s the strong advocate who graciously intercedes.
Therefore – two things. 1) Go and see The Castle if you haven’t already!
And 2) realise this: You are not the determined little guy who’ll make good in the end. You’re facing trial – powerless and guilty. But you have a brilliant Advocate. He says, “I’d like to appear on your behalf – gratis!” And He makes faultless representation to the court of heaven. You stand in Him completely vindicated. What kind of Advocate is this!
24 Because Jesus lives for ever, He has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them. 26 Such a high priest meets our need–one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. (Heb 7:24-26)
19 Even now my Witness is in heaven; my Advocate is on high. 20 My Intercessor is my Friend as my eyes pour out tears to God; 21 on behalf of a man He pleads with God as a man pleads for his friend. (Job 16:19-21)