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.
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.