Wind River is written by the same guy who wrote one of last year’s most successful films, Hell or High Water. In case you missed it, that film was nominated for Best Picture, because it was so good and not the typical recycled story that gets pumped into theaters one after the another. I am telling you all this because Wind River is not a super hero movie, it’s not a thrilling detective story, it is purely a down to earth true story about the way of life on a reservation.
You would think from the poster and the trailer that Jeremy Renner is playing a Bourne kind of character, a highly intelligent killer, but you’d never guess he has more invested in the outcome of this mystery then you would think. Personal connections are a major theme to the movie that really keeps the story going, and despite being an outsider, has deep roots in the community. Elizabeth Olsen is truly a fish out of water in this one because when you take a Las Vegas field agent and throw into the frozen tundra of Wyoming, she is out-of-place and it shows. Many crimes go unsolved in these parts of the world due to lack of resources, crime solving solutions, and the desire of the locals to actually get to the bottom of things. Horrific events of this nature always have a personal meaning to those close effected, but whether they ever get answers is a whole other story that Wind River really only scratches the surface of.
Some people will consider this film racist against the reservation lifestyle or those who live there, and they would be totally wrong. Wind River sets out to give the world a glimpse that life in these parts of the country isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. The best parts of the entire movie, besides the majestic scenery, is the realism of the story and the characters. Most of these people have just accepted life and the problems that come with it. Wind River is a much watch because it touches upon dealing with grief in traumatic situations, while being there for those in need. This film isn’t all about violence and reservation life, it is about the human spirit and the way we conduct ourselves in times of crisis.
Wind River will be a dark horse for a nominee for Best Picture of 2017. It currently holds a 85% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so my advice is to try to watch it soon, so you won’t be scrambling to watch before the awards show next year.
star rating: 8/10