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14 user 7 critic

The Combination (2009)

Set in the multi-racial suburbs of Sydney, Lebanese-Australian John is released from goal to find his younger brother Charlie caught in the very same world of crime that put him behind bars.

Director:

David Field

Writer:

George Basha
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George Basha ... John Morkos
Clare Bowen ... Sydney
Firass Dirani ... Charlie
Doris Younane ... Mary
Ali Haider Ali Haider ... Zeus
Michael Denkha ... Ibo
Vaughn White Vaughn White ... Scott
Katrina Risteska ... Anna
Greg Webb Greg Webb ... Frank
Daniel Webber ... Jason
Tyrone Lindqvist Tyrone Lindqvist ... Lesley
Michael Farrah Michael Farrah ... Mick
Rahel Romahn ... Mo (as Rahel Abdulrahman)
John Brumpton ... Mr. Roberts
Ruth McGowan ... Mrs. Roberts
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Storyline

Set in the maligned western suburbs of Sydney, Lebanese-Australian John gets out of gaol to discover his younger brother Charlie is caught up with drugs, hookers and crime. Charlie oscillates between the streets and school. Daily clashes between Scott and Charlie's gang escalate. This feud spills into the streets in a territory and identity battle that turns bloody. The Combination dares to shed light on the racial tension that has often boiled over into incidents like the Cronulla riots. Suburban stereotypes are challenged when John falls for an Australian girl named Sydney. She presents an opportunity for a new start - yet with each step closer to her he is made painfully aware of the choice he will have to make - family or love. Written by The Filmmakers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

No Second Chance See more »

Genres:

Drama

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 February 2009 (Australia) See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

See Thru Films See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (HD)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

2 Young blokes were buying a car, when they seen a poster featuring the car seller ( Australian screen legend David Field), they told him of their mate who's an actor and wrote a script (George Basha) and he rang him that's how the film got made and 2 best mates came to be. See more »

Goofs

John drives to Ibo's house to deal with him, and ends up WALKING back home without his car for no apparent reason. See more »

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User Reviews

High hopes.
4 March 2009 | by MozjoukineSee all my reviews

THE COMBINATION is the first Australian film to be shown in it's country of origin this year and it's already become a news story - not for it's quality but because there have been incidents between what we are told are Lebanese gang members and theatre staff.

It would be nice if the film were to prove something substantial. What it is however is a passable gang warfare subject, made without undue sensationalism (it is particularly timid with sex) and preaching anti violence. The inclusion of recent race riot TV actuality tells us they want to be taken seriously.

The film takes a predictable multicultural line with old Australia dismissed as football, beer and meat pies, as against the leather lounges and sumptuous Arab meals with music to which hard man writer-star Basha introduces so blonde object of his affections Bowen, who comes from a family where scotch on the rocks seems to be the main food item. The Lebanese gang has one Asian kid, though he does back off when it's time to face off with the so mean (white) drug pushers. Basha gets a job in a gym run by stand up aborigines. The white kids spit and mug solitary members of the other gang.

The dynamic of school yard gangs is better, though we can't but wonder when the kids get to do any study, even though younger brother Dirani does once make it as far as the library.

One note performances are strong and the Western Sydney setting is effective and still unfamiliar. Particularly choice are the pusher's neighbors urging Basha to blow the low life away in the film's most inventive scene.

It would be nice to say this independently financed item was a break away from the blandness of funded filming here. However it is formula and lacks the dynamism of US films that covered this area - the work of Phil Karlson or young Scorsese and particularly American HISTORY X which appears to have inspired plot elements.

Those involved attack with a determination that it would be nice to see rewarded with worthwhile careers but they have the dis-spiriting history of Astralian production against them.


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