söndag 11 december 2016

Hell Or High Water

America is now ready to change the country, now when Donald Trump is the new president. I watched some of the debates, and listened to both Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump. Now, since i live in Sweden, i don´t really have much to say about the candidates. But i did understand that the middle class, was tired of all the promises that have been made. They wanted a change, and they must have seen that change in Donald Trump. I especially think of the small towns, where folks depend on their jobs, and to survive. When it comes to films, that take on subjects of small towns, i think we have a masterpiece, that we have to mention. How many of you remember the fantastic film Lone Star by directed by John Sayles. An epic drama film, about a murder investigation, with fantastic performances by Chris Cooper, Kris Kristofferson, Matthew McConaughey and Elizabeth Péna. I will probably say that this is one of the best drama films of the 90´s, up there with The Coen Brothers masterpiece Fargo. Lone Star had everything we could wish for, strong characters, really good dialogue and fantastic performances. This may have been the film where Matthew McConaughey proved himself for the first time. Lone Star showed the life in a smaller society, and there are other really good examples of films that followed a similar path. How about the fantastic film No Country For Old Men. Directed by The Cohen Brothers, this film had everything you could wish for. Very strong characters, a solid story, acting performances on top class. I especially loved the character Anton Chigurgh, a very brutal hitman, brilliant acted by Javier Bardem. There is something special about stories, that take place in deserted locations, where people live a simple life. It is like time never changes there, the desert remains, and the endless highways. During early spring of 2016, i was reading about upcoming films, and came across a film called Hell Or High Water. As the film reviews started coming out, it was clear that this might be something to look forward to. Ecpesially when Jeff Bridges is included in the cast. and even Chris Pine ( who would have expected that ? ) Is this one of the highlights of this year, or have director David Mackenzie failed to make a personal film ?

In West Texas, brothers Toby Howard ( Chris Pine ) and ex-con Tanner Howard ( Ben Foster ) need money. After their dear mother passed away, she left a debt on her ranch, and they will loose the ranch, unless they can get the money in time. Toby and Tanner go on a rampage ride, robbing Texas Middles Bank. They manage to do so, and locate other banks to get more cash. Texas Rangers Marcus Hamilton ( Jeff Bridges ) and Alberto Parker ( Gil Birmingham ) are on the case. The Howard Brothers continue their crime waves, and make a decision to get their stolen money laundred in an Oklahoma Indian Casino. Texas Rangers Marcus and Alberto are on the trail after the brothers. Is there any way Toby and Tanner can get out of this mess, or have they digged their own graves ?

I have heard so much positive feedback, ever since Hell On High Water hit theatres across America and Europe. And there is a good reason why. This is one of those films you don´t want to stop watching, because it is so well made, so well acted, and have a very strong plot included. Even if the story may look simple, there is much more depth inside the story between 2 criminal brothers. The locations, around Oklahoma, fits perfect with the cinematography. Chris Pine and Ben Foster as the two criminal brothers, are really good in their roles. They show a perfect combination of family issues, that they have different goals in life, but don´t know how to get things right. Their anger, especially over their dead mother, is clearly tearing them apart. To save her ranch, they need more money. And this is where the film becomes very honest. How far are you willing to go to save a family home, no matter what it will take ? Most of all, i have to say that legendary actor Jeff Bridges delivers a fantastic performance as Texas Ranger Marcus. I don´t think he have been this good, since his amazing performance in Crazy Heart. And i am very happy to see him back on this level of acting. He is a Texas Ranger, who believe in making the right choices, and stay within the limits of law. Director David Mackenzie have directed several films over the years, and one of the films i remember mostly is the 2003 film Young Adam, with a really good performance from Ewan McGregor. I have not seen all of his films, but i will say this. From the films i have seen from director David Mackenzie, i feel that Hell Or High Water is his strongest film so far. His way of telling this story, is very deep, and emotional. You could say that there is a deep psychological message hidden within the film, but you have to see this for yourself. We have some really good performances also in here from Katy Mixon, as the waitress who dreams of a different life. We should also mention Dale Dickey, some of you might remember her very strong performance in Winter´s Bone. She prove herself once more, and give a very solid performance here in Hell Or High Water. If you loved No Country For Old Men, and the masterpiece Fargo, you are going to love this film guaranteed. I would say that this is up there on the best films of 2016 list. Run to your cinema and watch Hell Or High Water. You will regret it if you don´t take the chance to see such a powerful experience.

Rating: DDDD

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