Sometimes a film lives up to the hype. Not that I’m advocating taking any decision simply based on the blurb from the film or magazines or anything like. Just saying that sometimes, like in this case, there is a lot of good stuff going on and it’s worth getting past that oh-no-it’s-a-serious-one-geez-this-is-going-to-be-a-slog feeling.
Yes, this is serious but it’s riveting too. The scenery itself is worth an award and that contrast of quiet, always-there, larger than you can imagine landscape in glorious blue whites and snow-touched greens versus the human struggles… it all draws you in and I really enjoyed every minute. Even though it’s one of the longer films, I didn’t notice.
Leo is really good and I’ve nearly forgiven him for The Beach. His grunting and pain as well as his scarred wrinkles were a constant wonder and made me feel every ache. Mind you, Tom was arguably a much stronger character and each of his scenes was compelling to watch. I didn’t recognise him and he played it real subtle but solid. Will has grown up and although a little young still hit the mark.
Camera work and effects are astounding as are the other actors, especially those that do the stunts. There are a lot of good characters and really believable acting so much so that it’s impossible to pick out any of the support that are not as good as the main cast when they’re given time on screen.
Overall, the production is gritty, realistic but with enough awe for the trip and the land that I couldn’t help but stay locked on the screen all the way through. I can guess that it’s not to everyone’s taste as there’s very little humour but there’s also nothing slow, which is odd considering the plot!
For me this is a classic although I can’t see me picking it off the shelf for a quiet night in! Maybe get back there in a year’s time. Wish I’d seen it on the big screen.
BluRay Extras: A Making Of that shows a lot of the filming but is about half and half about the indigenous tribes and the loss of their lands. Bit political but I’d urge you to give it a once-through as the memory of the film kinda benefits. Hard to say why that is but for me it does. As the real story this is based on is remarkable, I expected some retelling of that but there was nothing. Missed opportunity to add credence to the movie. Also no gag reel but from what I read about the freezing conditions, I’m guessing there weren’t many jokes!
Watchability (once, twice, etc.)
Watch if on TV?
Hug, Snog, Marry, Avoid?
Marry with a bear hug (snigger!)