The View of Vietnam from Down Under
Bill (John Jarratt) was like any other young Australian soldier, knocking back a tinnie as he went off to serve his country in the war in Vietnam. Flying out to Vietnam in relative luxury the journey through war dealing with periods of doing nothing, mortar attacks, slow treks through the forest and having to kill another man all change him and others as time passes until it is time to return home a different man who left Australia at the start of his tour of service.
That synopsis is painfully generic but then in a way "The Odd Angry Shot" is generic but in a good way. What it serves up is a slice of life for Australian soldiers who were sent to fight in the Vietnam War. We see how they went to war one person and came back changed by their experiences and those experiences include periods of boredom followed by tension as they crept through the jungle, dealing with mortar attacks to having to kill someone for the first time whilst dealing with friends dying. As I said it is generic and I can think of dozens of war movies which do the same but because "The Odd Angry Shot" doesn't have an agenda, doesn't feel like it is building to some moment of heroics for one of the characters you get a sense that this is more a look at how it was.
Now whilst generic "The Odd Angry Shot" is also unique because the majority of movies about Vietnam War tend to be American and this is of course Australian. As such there is a different tone to this than you find in American war movies and it flits between a moment of tension with a moment of humour in a blink of an eye and feels right in doing so. As such after a tense moment in the jungle when one their men ends up fatally wounded we then end up watching the men lark about back at camp be it moaning that the soap is making their hair fall out as they shower to drinking one tinnie after another. In fact as I watched this it almost made me wonder how much the Australian government spent on sending beer to the soldiers as there seems to be a never ending supply of cans.
What this all boils down to is that "The Odd Angry Shot" is an interesting Vietnam war movie which in just being about the experiences of war draws you in more than a movie about the heroics of a single character. Plus with this being about Australian soldiers it has this blend of drama and comedy going on which certainly makes it amusing. As for how authentic it is, I don't know as I wasn't there but from what I understand, that was how it was.