It’s been a while since we saw a film put greater emphasis on character development, detailing and capturing the essence of the story. Scottish director David Mackenzie’s Hell or High Water is one such film. It whole-heartedly feeds your hunger for a rich cinematic experience.
In the leagues of Coen Brother’s No Country for Old Men and yesteryear’s Mad Max Fury Road, Hell or High Water is more about living the protagonists’ journeys than feeding you with complicated storyline and subplots. We have the uber charming leads Chris Pine and Ben Foster as the two brothers who are effortless in robbing banks in succession. The difference is they have a motive to steal. They want to gather enough money to save their mother’s house from getting auctioned.
Both the actors are in excellent form here. It’s hard to pick the better one. But the real scene stealer is our badass cop in pursuit, played brilliantly by the great Jeff Bridges. The joy of watching the three actors together is priceless. They make the otherwise paper-thin plot easy to overlook.
Terrific detailing and fluid camerawork further aid character development. Shot in Texas, the film has a very special feel and texture to it. Either it’s the scenic locales that add weight to the narrative or it’s the distinctive, rebellious culture. The filmmaker astutely captures the fierce attitude of the state which cushions the pragmatically-written screenplay and dialogues.
The film flows lucidly for its less than two hours runtime and promises enough thrills to satisfy your appetite.
Hell or High Water is a fine example of what Hollywood’s true potential is. Not only does it cover up the mess created by overblown blockbusters this year, but gives a hope that filmmakers like David Mackenzie won’t let stirring, meaningful cinema die any sooner. Strongly recommended!