Friday, March 17, 2017

"Brimstone" Review by Anthony T

Sometimes you go into a film expecting it to be one thing but it turns out to be something different. This was the case with my recent review “Brimstone”. I was sold on this film because it starred Guy Pearce. He stared in two great films “Memento” and “L.A. Confidential both released in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Haven’t seen him in a leading role in a serious film for a while until I heard about this film.

The film is about a woman (Dakota Fanning) who ran away from her troubled past and started a family. She has been living a quiet life until a mysterious preacher (Guy Pearce) shows up in town. Now she lives in fear of the preacher, as he’s looking to hunt her down for reasons she only knows.

Going to “Brimstone”, I was thinking that this was going to be a western thriller with an interesting story. But I was surprised that this was completely different than what I was expecting. This film has a lot of subgrenes like horror, thriller, western, and drama. Usually, I think of the film as a film with an identity crisis but it works out very well for the two and a half hour running time.

The reason that it works so well was the directing from writer/director Martin Koolhoven. He does a very good job making sure the scenes had a dark and gritty look from beginning to end. It help convey the tone of the film as well as this was very dark. The other thing that Koolhoven does very well is to make sure the acting was very good. I liked how focuses on the performance aspect. It helped make the characters very interesting and made me interested in the story.

The film also had a couple of very good performances from Guy Pearce and Dakota Fanning. Pearce does a very good job making sure his character is very menacing in his performance. It made his creepy and downright frightening to watch. He also good chemistry with Fanning in the scenes that they have together as it made the chapters that there were together entertaining. Speaking of Dakota Fanning, she was very good here. It was a tough role as it required movement and expressions as her character doesn’t speak at all but she makes her character strong willed and entertaining. It helped with some of the action towards the end of the film.

Koolhoven’s screenplay was surprisingly good considering this was a long film. One of the things that I liked about it was it easy to connect the dots. There are four separate chapters or stories going on in the main plot line but I liked how it was easy to figure out the film’s timeline as it started in the middle part of the story then it went backwards for a couple of chapters and finally went all the way back to the end of the first chapter. It made it less confusing and I wasn’t wondering where the chapters fit in to the film’s story. The other thing that makes the screenplay good was the fact that it focuses on the characters. I liked amidst the structure was the fact that it develops its characters. Even though it was done backwards, it was done in a way there’s backstory to the main characters so that you’re not left with questions answers about the relationship between the main characters.

This is a very good film as it blends in many genres elements to make this very entertaining. ”Brimstone” is a long film with its 148 min running time but with very good acting and very solid story, it’s a very good film.

Review Rating; Five Stars

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