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Jan 19, 2012

Review: Meek's Cutoff (2011)


Starring:
                  Michelle Williams, Bruce Greenwood, Shirley Henderson, Neal Huff, Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Tommy Nelson, Will Patton and Rod Rondeaux.

Directed By:
                         Kelly Reichardt.



Review:
                This semi-western movie was shown in may festivals in 2010 but properly released in 2011. I would really call it the most polarizing movie of 2011 where critics and some intelligent and deep viewers loved it while everyone else hated it. I have seen such poor reviews from people where they call it a complete crap or doesn't have anything to show and pointless attempt. Though i seem to somehow agree with them but i think it shows many things which is the whole point it just shows. I really appreciate filmmakers with their own unique styles or complete different way of making a movie or telling the stories, i have alway appreciated that and i always will. Movies should not be like each other or the same old nonsense but if someone wants to take a different trajectory, they should be allowed and then praised for it. That said, i don't think movie is bad or didn't had much but i had a great time watching it. This movie is the example of a perfect hit or miss, people with deep thoughts will find so many things out of this experience to think about while other would definitely walk out or sleep. Even though you don't understand the utmost deep point that is trying to make, take it as a visual documentary of survival and beautiful but harsh landscape, is still a good enough reason to watch this movie without disrespecting the makers. This movie follows a group of people on a very hard and harsh journey through the Oregon desert in 1845 following Stephen Meek.




              This movie moves at a speed of an ant which is superbly annoying but i was shocked that it didn't bothered me at all, this movie grows up on you the minute movie starts. It is powerful and a visually perfectly made movie that may not require those country/cowboy accents and gunfights like the usual westerns. I hardly remember a movie with a deadly slow speed still to have impressed me immensely right now but this was a fantastic experience. When the movie starts, there is not a single word spoken by characters until the 15 minutes into the movie and there isn't much conversation in the rest of the movie. I loved who movie moved at a real life timing, everything felt natural and quite real which really effected me. While following the course told by Meek, everyone starts questioning whether or not he himself forgot the track. The journey was suppose to be not that long but it stretches from two to five weeks. In the meantime they captures an Indian who may lead them to the waters. They starts suffering slowly with the scarcity of water and other sources of survival that seems to be slowly disappearing with the time just as themselves. They have no idea what is going on or where they are going, who to trust, the guide or the Indian? what if he is taking them to a trap not to the waters? and towards the end where they reach a point where you think the movie will finally have a satisfactory ending as it looks like something big is about to happen, the movie ends with nothing.




                Some things towards the end really adds up as guessing points for what should or would have happened but it ends without a conclusion making the audience to make up their own ending. It has a good cast with some good performances like Michelle Williams and Bruce Greenwood as Emily Tetherow and Stephen Meek both of them have strong characters and the ones you are most likely to understand or get some ideas about. Movie has stunning cinematography, the night scenes happens in darkness with the only light provided by the fire, you wont see clearly the faces when the speak. It is the spot on realistic approach of the movie that makes it a fabulous viewing experience for me and a movie that i can clearly say as one of the very best movies.



Grade: A-