Film Reviews

Wind River (2017)

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Starring: Elizabeth Olsen, Jeremy Renner, Kelsey Asbille, Graham Greene

Director: Taylor Sheridan

A rookie FBI agent (Olsen) and a local animal tracker (Renner) with a tragic past team up to find out who raped and caused the death of a local woman on a reservation in Wyoming. When the body of the girl’s boyfriend is also found dumped in the snow and they find resistance from the locals, they suspect there may be a cover up.

This film is based on the disappearances of Native American women from Reservations in America, who go missing in large numbers, and are rarely found or get justice. It’s very sad. This film explores how that might happen, what the legal loop holes are, and the prevailing attitudes about these cases.

The film uses the wide open and snow covered landscape to good effect. It’s certainly a beautiful and lonely place, a place things could happen away from prying eyes. The atmosphere of the place and the lives of the reservation seem to be well drawn, but the two investigators feel a little one dimensional at times. I felt like Olsen was too much like a little girl who needed help, not at all like that other FBI rookie, Clarice Starling, for example. But I liked her determination to find out the truth in a case where she was discouraged by the indifference of the law and actions of the locals. Renner played his tracker as a kind of butch hero character, which was kind of annoying in a film that needed a more realistic characterisation. The film also lags a little at some points, perhaps it’s a little long or the plot could have been tightened a little. But on the whole, it’s a moving story and worth a watch.

One thing that I did like about this film is that it doesn’t show too much, which makes it all the more chilling. You know what’s going on and how awful and terrifying it is, and the impact it has on the family and the community, without having to watch scenes of rape.

See It If: you like crime thrillers or stories of murder based on true crimes. It’s not a game changer, but it has its merits.

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5 thoughts on “Wind River (2017)”

  1. I haven’t seen this movie, but your review was very descriptive and I can totally imagine the performances and sadness of the story. Do you think if other actors were cast it would have felt different, or that’s how they were written in the script? (I’m not really fans of either, which is why I didn’t rent this one)

    Liked by 1 person

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