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Wind River

When Cory Lambert, a hunter goes out to look for a pack of lions tormenting the herd of a local, he stumbled across a body of a young woman he was familiar with. The location of her death caused the sheriff to place a call to the FBI, thus launching Lambert's involvement in the investigation of her death. This was a feature film of Taylor Sheridan, the writer behind Sicario and Hell and High Water, and being a fan of Sicario, I had to watch the film at some point. *spoilers ahead*

The film was plot-driven, with Lambert and Agent Jane Banner investigating the case for separate reasons. Since the coroner refused to put homicide as cause of death, Banner, out of sense of duty sees to the investigation herself. Lambert on the other hand, was motivated by a previous experience. His daughter has passed away under unusual circumstances although implied that the situation might have been similar to the victim’s. The film focuses on finding answers to the crime - talking to family members, following on clues, and the like.

The whole reveal comes in the format of a flashback, and this is where the heartbreaking nature of the film takes place. It is revealed that it wasn’t the victim’s lover who had done something to her, but he was a victim as well. The shot where he mouths ‘Go’ to her as he takes the beating of his co-workers - that shot invoked so much. The whole scene was disturbing and it was heartbreaking to see what happened to the lovers. The flashback scene was a pivotal moment of the film, the one scene to be remembered.

Sheridan managed to make the film atmospheric. The setting of the film add to the tone of the story, alongside the whole predator-prey metaphor that played along. Even the culminating standoff was brash and ruthless. Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen were okay leads; they performed according to character and what was asked of them. Jon Bernthal and Kelsey Asbille gave notable acting for limited screen time. The film also tried to raise awareness on the situation regarding Native American women, although I am not sure if that is the takeaway from all this.

Wind River was cold and unflinching. For a procedural feature, it was straightforward. Sheridan laid out the pieces without it being confusing and contradictory. It is a solid mystery/thriller at best.

Comments

  1. I really enjoyed this but that flashback was so hard to watch. I do plan on seeing that again but I think I'm going to fast forward through that scene. Once was enough.

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