26 September 2023

Edge Of The World

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Reviewed by Rama Gaind.

Director: Michael Haussman, Defiant Screen Entertainment.

There’s a certain familiarity about this period drama set in 19th-century Borneo. The film is based on the true story of the Rajah of Sarawak, James Brooke, who was the inspiration for the Rudyard Kipling story The Man Who Would Be King, and Joseph Conrad’s novel Lord Jim.

Both Kipling and Conrad were moved by the story of the British explorer and soldier, who founded the Raj of Sarawak in Borneo. He was in the Bengal Army and became the Rajah at the height of the British Empire. Brooke’s family ended up governing there for a century.

The adventures of Sir James Brooke, who defied the British Empire to rule a jungle kingdom in 1840s Borneo, embarked on a lifelong crusade to end piracy, slavery and head hunting.

Picturesque Sarawak is the opening setting with the arrival of Brooke (Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Michael Collins, Titus) in a boat, along with his cousin Arthur (Dominic Monaghan) and nephew Charley (Otto Farrant), both army men. Their presence is met with distrust and antagonism from the local aristocrats, especially Prince Mahkota (Bront Palarae).

However, a siege by pirates and Brooke’s brave efforts in handling the attackers lead to him being crowned Rajah, much to the dismay of Mahkota. Brooke had set out on a voyage of discovery, not conquest and the realisation to “make peace we must make war”.

Director Haussman, writer Rob Allyn, stunning visuals by cinematographer Jaime Feliu-Torres and top acting by Meyers – collectively – transport you back to a bygone era!

Where is the setting for Edge Of The World? If your answer is correct, then you could be one of three winners to receive a copy of the DVD. Entries should be sent to [email protected] by Monday, 9 August 2021. Names of the winners will be announced in Frank Cassidy’s PS-sssst…! column on 10 August 2021.

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