Wind River (2017)
From the writer of Sicario & Hell or High Water comes another sharp, intense & thoroughly gripping crime thriller that also presents him helming the director’s chair this time. As neatly structured as it is expertly directed, Wind River takes hold of the viewers’ attention from its opening moments, and doesn’t let go until the very end.
The story revolves around the murder of a young Native American woman and follows a local game tracker who discovered her body and later assists a rookie FBI agent with the investigation. As the two gather additional clues, interrogate more people & close in on the suspects, the tracker’s involvement in the case becomes more clear.
Written & directed by Taylor Sheridan, Wind River makes excellent use of its cold surrounding and unfolds in a controlled & steady fashion, allowing the audience to gather all the information before moving on to the next segment. Sheridan’s direction is just as accomplished as his screenplay, for all the events coalesce eventually to culminate on a bloody but wholly satisfying note.
The wintry ambience, cold surroundings & sparsely populated setting add to its grim, chilling aura. Cinematography makes sure that every moment is captured in a clear, concise fashion, and makes effective use of colour palette & lighting to enhance the image’s intensity. Editing retains the mystery till the final revelation and paces the story splendidly, while the muted score is in sync with its bitter tone.
Coming to the acting department, its character-driven story is powered by sincere performances from both Jeremy Renner & Elizabeth Olsen, with former delivering a very measured, calculated & emotionally acute rendition while the latter articulates her rookie character’s inexperience & emotions with accuracy. The rest of the supporting cast play their part responsibly and don’t leave anything to complain about.
On an overall scale, Wind River is another winning material from Taylor Sheridan that brilliantly showcases his directorial talents, especially his firm grip on pacing & environment, and is one of the best cinematic surprises of the year. Translated from paper to film canvas with razor-sharp clarity, presenting Sheridan in total control of his craft, and steered by solid performances from its faithful cast, Wind River is absolutely worth your time & money. Thoroughly recommended.