Class distinctions were at play in The Mule (2014), as confirmed by screenwriter Leigh Whannell in an interview with Moveablefest.
“Westies are quite literally people from the Western suburbs, the west side of the city, which in Melbourne is traditionally the lower income working class, especially in 1983 when this film was set.”
Director/star Angus Sampson chimed in, “The theory here on the East Coast of Australia, the closer to the water you are, the more expensive the real estate, so in theory, the further west you are …”
The airports in the area are out West, and there are many instances during the film where airplanes can be heard flying overhead. This was crucial to the filmmakers, who wanted to make every possible reference to the class separation of the characters.
Leigh Whannell continued, “A lot of the people in the film are aspiring to be something that they’re not. They want to get out of their situation, and that applies to everyone – the lawyer, the cops, Ray. This entire movie is about people struggling to get up to some level that they’ve imagined in their mind, and in Australia, a big part of that is class. It’s sort of like where you are on that economic ladder.”