'Broke' (2016) Written & Directed by Heath Davis. Starring Brandon Cowell, Max Collen, Claire Van der Boom, Steve Bastoni.

‘Broke’ (2016) Film Review

February 9, 2024

What does it mean to be a has-been? Does it necessarily imply one is no longer needed in humanity, especially once the body’s wear and tear become that noticeable in making one obsolete in one’s trade? Where is the humanity in giving someone the dignity of being human after they are no longer useful towards celebrating human life?


This suggests that there is an entitlement to a good human life; one that is rich with happiness, as opposed to downtrodden with misery. That, once a body is broken down, there is a more than moral but a political obligation to support that person. Perhaps, if such a person was this nurtured from the natural consequences of playing physical arts to its peaks, they would not end up where the protagonist of the film begins. And that is down in the dumps.


We see the consummate definition of broken in the film. And this is an exploration of the justification in not having the will power to correct what can only be corrected on its own – provided there is the physical boundaries for someone like the footie player, who lives from asking and robbing for monies to eat and waste away at the casino on slots and beer, to be perfected.


That, it is totally possible for a polity of people to not need to support the parasitical activities of other humans – in fact, it is consummately healthy to separate them from disturbing the peace.


The film is this superbly balanced in avoiding a saturnine lachrymal dejection, what may have been a catharsis for depression to see a human life this wrecked continue to be hapless. Instead, the film does a smashing job in representing the quietness of Australia and the simple pleasures of bonding over a rugby match and its stars.


As luck would have it, this broken footie player is taken in by a man and his daughter who both lost their son/brother to a painkiller road to ruin. Perhaps it is in the testimony to the Christian moral system to absorb such a soul who has the seeming audacity of pawning the father’s car without second-guessing his conscience – perhaps because he is so uncontrollably desperate in his civilized rhythms.


And this is the difficulty which the film is commendable in revealing: the complexity of perfect patience when suffering fools; towards overpowering the myth of legend and instead looking for a more righteous power to be in awe of on Earth. For, clinically, the rugby outcast is that out of balance with his body’s natural homeostasis – to leave him decrepit in the civilized world where he gnaws and claws at twenty to fifty dollars at a time. And yet, through the free gift of love, he is able to stabilize himself, and develop physical fitness routines which make him seem to be returning to normal. To be returning to health.


It is unfortunate that his inertia is that dampened by his previous antics. Where trying to will oneself out of moral turpitude, through the help of this small and meek family, is still confronted with shady deals in the past he needs to oblige. And it is there where the film is superb in helping the filmgoer understand the difficulties of escaping quote the trap.


This is what is difficult for those who are blind to being off the road. How can someone so successful become this broken? Where is the sympathy? The sympathy is absent when there is the pretense of a man who ought to know better how to live life without needing to be this malnourished. And yet, the success at rugby matches lacks the translational power to managing resources, where it is that oblivious to the average joe what owning property means: everyone is out to eat your winnings.


No, the film does not have time to investigate, with possible flashbacks, the sordid road which ends up with involuntary manslaughter, and the proper understanding of institutional correctional facilities – for those who cannot balance themselves and lead to imbalancing the love found in the lives of others. But it reveals the efforts at attempting to sustain a love through a false conduit. That, indeed, there is only so much one has the power to control; let it start then with perfecting the family life.

Grade: A


Subscribe to our mailing list

Latest Reviews