By Eddy Montilla.
Directed by: Kristian Levring.
Written by: Kristian Levring and Anders Thomas Jersen.
MPAA Rating: R (Contain some adult material. Parents are urged to know more about the film before taking their young children with them).
Starring: Mads Mikkelsen (Jon), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Henry Delarue) and Eva Green (Madelaine).
Running Time: 100 minutes.
Contrary to what many people think, the most difficult genre to make a film is probably a western. For a science fiction movie, almost everything is accepted; for other genres, a director can use different social and historical contexts, different things and ideas because our society has developed a lot. This is not the case when it comes to western movies since the film is anchored to a specific historical moment and few elements to combine: Hot desert, whisky, the bank, bullets and women. Then, you need to be a very good director to make a good film in such situation, that is, with few cards to play and you also have to be a good observer to see beyond the elements we talked before and understand the quality of a film. And that can give us a clue to explain why few western films are produced these days: Good directors and good members of the audience have dwindled from many to a bunch. Kristian Levring, with his movie The Salvation (2015), is really on the track to be counted among this small group of directors.
The Salvation (2015) is an intense and nerve-racking movie from the beginning. You have Mads Mikkelsen (Jon), an European immigrant who wants to settle down with his family in the West of US, with a tough decision to take in only five seconds: To jump from a stagecoach and leave his family in the hands of a couple of gunmen or stay and see them die. Later, you see a scoundrel looking for Jon. He only sees his rifle under some debris and thinks one step in advance: “Jon must be hidden somewhere waiting for me.” So he decides to shoot at random here and there and when he thinks Jon is dead, he kneels down and takes a look around. It is a classic scene, right? So we all know what will happen: Jon will come up from nowhere and kill the scoundrel. We all were waiting for that shot in the forehead and… this shot never came. What happened there was so good that I cannot tell you this part.
My real criticism for this movie comes at the end of it: Visual effects do not have space in a western movie. It was much better to let Jon move away naturally. Finally, I gave you two good reasons to see The Salvation (2015). If you still need a third one, you can see EVA GREEN (Madelaine). Wow!!!
This article was originally published in the digital newspaper World And Opinion with Eddy Montilla.
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