Monday, October 20, 2014

Film Review: Blue Ruin

Copyright:  VOD
The beginning scenes of this film are almost hypnotizing. In them, a drifter eats his meals from the garbage cans and sleeps on a deserted shore in his derelict car. He almost doesn’t speak, but then, something happens that makes him take out the plastic wrapped car battery from the trunk and puts it under the hood. With the car running, he goes off to seek revenge and finds plenty of it.

Blue Ruin movie acts as a strong presentation of human motives, but it does this in a way that the viewer doesn’t even notice it until the film has ended. Its main protagonist Dwight tells in one moment that he isn’t used to talking too much, although moments later he uttered only two sentences. He is broken and lost from the first moment, but he doesn’t go off to reclaim or reinvent himself. He goes, acting in the best intentions for his family, to ruthlessly kill people.

Director Jeremy Saulnier created Blue Ruin as if he dreamt the film many times in his life before he even got the chance to make it. His tenderness towards nature and his brutal honesty towards Dwight compliment incredibly well, providing beautiful shots of a small forest lake, while at the same time the audience awaits a multiple murder to take place nearby.

After the film hooks the audience, it reels them in with a very unpredictable story. In good films like this one, the magic of movie making is seen as the complete openness to every possibility. In some moments, Dwight can sit with a character and talk, or he can just as easily try to kill them. The brilliance of the script is in the fact that Dwight isn’t a lunatic or a psychopath. He is just, as the film promotional material states, a man with nothing to lose.

This Blue Ruin review might come off as uninterrupted praise, but the film simply deserves it. Its developing narrative, just like its dynamic, is gripping and immersive, aided by a scenario which didn’t cater to any regular thriller demands. Like another recent great film The Rover, it doesn’t try to save his character, it just presents him.

In 2014, I bet there won’t be many powerful thrillers like this small masterpiece.