Starring: Sam Neill, Patrick Warburton, Roy Billing
Director: Rob Sitch
Running Time: 101 mins
The Dish is an Australian film about the true story of four men, working at a satellite in the middle of a sheep paddock in New South Wales, who are brought into the Apollo 11 mission, having the only dish on Earth big enough to broadcast the pictures from the spacecraft, and they must fight against all odds to show the world this historic moment.
This film is quite slow-starting, struggling to really get up to a high level of anything for its first hour, however it ends with a bang in the form of the Apollo 11 landings, which transforms your initial boredom into a strong feeling of inspiration.
The main part of this film is the comedy, though. Focussing on a small operation thrown in at the deep end, it’s often hilarious to watch these relatively inexperienced, quirky, and very nervous characters have to control something that will determine the entire future of the human race, and the chaos that does ensue at points, and their attempts to right the situation, are hugely funny.
It’s not a copy of any sort of American humour in this film, it’s a typical display of Aussie attitudes. There’s no undying patriotism that inspires these people to push forward, but amongst the characters’ wacky personas, there is still a real sense of excitement about their involvement in a project as important as this.
You do have those comedic themes unfolding throughout the film, however in the initial stages, where it is relying a lot more on laughs than emotion, my interest really started to waver. As you don’t really have any laugh-out-loud moments along the way, it’s difficult for the film to support itself on those couple of comedic tones for a full hour, and that’s why I struggled a bit in that period.
However, once the story reaches the climax that is the Apollo landings, it takes a complete turn. Almost dropping all of its comedy, apart from a few jokes here and there, it becomes a dramatic, thrilling and hugely inspirational story that not only shows you the extent of human capabilities in getting to the Moon, but showing you, by way of the small-scale operation’s role, that everyone is relevant, and everyone can do something to advance humanity into the future, and as it finishes on that note, it’s an amazing feeling.
Overall, then, this gets a 7.4, because although it struggled to be fully entertaining initially, it ended absolutely amazingly.