Wind River

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Wind River is a film, on its surface, about a heinous crime and the hunt for those responsible.

I found it to be much deeper than that. One of the many things I enjoyed about this film was the depiction of an investigation on a Reservation. It was very interesting to see the dynamic between Native Americans and outsiders, and how the law plays a part in that. It was interesting to get a glimpse at life inside the Reservation, as someone such as myself will never experience.

That said, I have almost no real-world knowledge of the subject, so I don’t know how accurately it was portrayed.

The cinematography of Wind River is beautiful. Lush and grandiose, just like the land that it captured. The shots of mountains and valleys covered in snow evoked a primal call, a sense of wanderlust.

Despite all of the breathtaking visuals, Wind River is far from beautiful. It is dark, and depressing, and heartbreaking. There is little light to be had in this darkness.

I did find it interesting that so much of the film was white, due mostly to the abundant snow. White – the color of purity, of cleanliness. A blatant juxtaposition to the evil and corrupt natures of the rapists and killers.

Wyoming is cold – freezing, in fact. Wind River is full of people just as cold as the climate that they inhabit. The rapists and murderers are cold-hearted bastards. Parents attempt to remain cold and show no emotion when their children are killed. Cory (Jeremy Renner) kills coldly and efficiently.

All of the actors and actresses gave incredible performances throughout the film. Jeremy Renner was enthralling with his portrayal of Cory, and Elizabeth Olsen did an excellent job as an FBI agent way out of her depth. I particularly enjoyed Ben (Graham Greene) as the kind-hearted, humorous police chief.

Wind River is not going to make you feel good, but it will captivate you and leave you contemplating it long after you’ve finished watching.

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