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Review Wind River (2017): Captivating drama with some real tense moments!

genre: crime, drama, mystery, thriller

This is the third film made or written by Taylor Sheridan I have watched and for the first time I experienced what others must have been experiencing the first two times with Sicario and Hell or High Water. To be fair though I never thought of them as being bad films. However they both are incredibly overrated as they aren't as grand and earth-shattering people would have you believe. Wind River could be put into the same category but it does a whole lot more with minimal means and therefore is a much better film overall.

First of all don't expect this to be a thriller full twists and turns. There aren't any. This is a pretty simple and straightforward story that is more about the characters and their emotions. Don't expect good dialogues either since most of the time it's functional to move the plot ahead. I do have to add that most of the characters suffer from this disease where they all whisper their words or speak very unintelligibly. I know that it's not the fault of the actors. But it does seem to be a trend among certain directors because they are under the impression it will make the conversation more interesting. No. it will not. 

One thing that is done exceptionally well is to show what life is like on an Indian reservation without exposition. Instead you get to witness the emotions of the main characters like frustration and anger concerning certain situations they are put in. For example FBI agent Jane Banner played by Elizabeth Olsen is put on the case but clearly has no experience in the field whatsoever. Actually she is aware that she is completely out of her league. Thus relies on Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) who found the body to help her out. Both Renner and Olsen give their characters the meat without ever actually getting to know them well. Not that much background is given on them. Just the bare essentials. The way Cory Lambert carries himself you know he is a no-nonsense guy who gets the job done no matter what. Jane knows the odds are against her but cares about the case and the victim and wants to do her best to get justice for her and her family. And so are you since we are on their side once they start their investigation.  

It was good to see Graham Greene again. He is such an underrated actor. But most of the cast in Wind River did a good job and is one of the main reasons this film is so effective. The other is the setting. Winter is here and it's cold and grim. Very grim. You don't have to imagine much that life out there must be tough. It's so cold that you could die from extreme frostbite. But like the film implies. That is not the real danger. 

Overall Wind River is a truly captivating drama with some real tense and explosive moments. A prime example of what you can achieve with a good build up.  

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