For some unknown reason, whenever I think of the film Wind River, I want to start singing ‘Moon River’ by Andy Williams. No idea why; it just happens. Wind River is a film by Taylor Sheridan, who is also responsible for such thrillers as Sicario and Hell or High Water. This latest film stars Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen, in very snowy Wyoming. The plot centers around the two attempting to solve the murder of a young woman on Wind River Indian Reservation.
To avoid as many spoilers as possible, I will keep my critique of Wind River very vague. Now, I have not seen Hell or High Water, but I have seen Sicario (in fact I even wrote about it in a Throwback Thursday). As a fan of that suspenseful and powerful thriller, I had high hopes for Wind River. Jeremy Renner is a fantastic actor and Elizabeth Olsen is quickly becoming a favorite of mine.
Somehow, for me; this film missed the mark. Of course, I understood the message of the film. There are thousands of unreported cases of violence and sexual abuse towards women, especially Native American women; and I appreciate Sheridan’s mission to bring a little bit of awareness towards this. The premise is haunting and when you find out what really happened to the poor woman, it’s daunting. Like Sicario, this movie is raw and seeks to have its audience face an ugly truth.
I suppose my biggest critique of the film is that, well…I found it a little slow. It isn’t a summer blockbuster, there’s really no crazy high-energy action, and that’s okay. The film tells a story and I understand that. There are some really great movies that follow a similar format – even Sicario was a like stark, but still kept a firm hold on my attention.
Renner plays a man who has gone through his own personal loss and is a bit of a mountain man (I don’t know how else to describe it). There were times where I felt like his attempt to play a silent man, living with the weight of his loss; came off…boring. I know this was not the intention, but there were times that he didn’t hold my interest at all.
Olsen was great, but I would have loved to see her even more bad-ass. I also disliked that the film had such limited screen time, as it only played in selected theaters. If you’re going to see the film for Jon Bernthal, be warned that he was in the film for all of ten minutes (if that).
That being said, everyone is different and I’d like to see the film again to gauge if it would be better the second time. That happens, my friends, I disliked the 3rd Pirates of the Carribean, but when I saw it the second time I was in love. Be sure to see Wind River to make your own judgments and to support awareness of the issues focused on in the film.