'Wind River'-Film Review

Updated on September 3, 2017

Wind River Video Review

This film stars Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen. It is written and directed by Taylor Sheridan. Sheridan is noted for striking gold having written the venerated “Sicario” directed by Denis Villeneuve and the universally acclaimed “Hell or High Water” directed by David Mackenzie. An inaugural film by this gentleman should definitely excite movie lovers as Sheridan is now able to bring what what he wrote on paper to the screen exactly the way he envisioned it. With “Wind River”, Taylor Sheridan proves to us that he is a more than capable director and I will surely be first in line to witness his next piece of work.

“Wind River” takes place on the eponymous poverty and drug stricken Native American Reservation in Wyoming during the culmination of winter as unpredictable snowstorms batter the land. Enter veteran game tracker Corey Lambert (Jeremy Renner). While hunting for mountain lions that have been mauling the livestock, Lambert discovers the frozen corpse of a Native American girl who happened to be the dearest friend of his deceased daughter. On account of issues pertaining to jurisdiction, an FBI agent named Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) is flown in from Las Vegas to lead the investigation. Finding herself unable to investigate on her own, she asks Lambert for assistance. Given the murder’s personal significance to Lambert, he agrees and now we’ve got our film.

For the most part the aforementioned summary may make the film sound like your conventional “whodunit” murder mystery, but in reality it’s a whole lot more than that. From what I’ve seen with “Sicario” and “Hell or High Water”, Taylor Sheridan’s scripts offer some insight into complex social matters, most notably violence, economic destitution, elite corruption, and the manner in which the criminal justice system does a great injustice to the people it’s sworn to safeguard in the troubled regions of the American frontier. The subtext is largely established through the brilliant camera shots of the unforgiving land, thereby making the harsh environment a character of its own. What elevates Taylor Sheridan’s status as an elite writer is his utilization of those complex backdrops to delve into the internal dynamics of faulty characters. So while “Wind River” is a murder mystery at its core, it’s really more about how solving the mystery will transform Jeremy Renner’s character as he comes to terms with his past and works through unsolved problems regarding his daughter’s demise. Skillfully using the destitute and desolate reservation surrounded by less than favorable drilling company workers as a backdrop, Sheridan’s finely carpentered script, ridden will brilliant bouts of dialogue, tells a moving tale of friendship, grief, and how hopeless circumstances heavily influence the choices that human beings undertake.

People who enjoy murder mysteries will definitely be satisfied as this film contains the necessary components. We’ve got clever misdirection, hostile witnesses who refuse to cooperate, and of course the element of surprise. What I truly appreciated was the slow-burn aspect of this film as “Wind River” opts to steadily build tension until it cracks, resulting in a stupefying sense of shock when the body count rises. When you’re not busy gripping your armrests when moments of tension arise you’ll be leaning forward in your seat itching to know what happens next. However, I was slightly disappointed in the ending, which aimed to garner a reaction from the viewers but felt a little tacked on. Directly preceding the ending credits, Taylor Sheridan provides us with a text sharing the disturbing fact that there is no log for missing Native American women in the Native American community. This premise is never really delved into as the dead/missing Native American girl in question is pretty much present in one flashback. The premise deserves a movie of its own as “Wind River” is really more about the plight of the Native American community as a whole.

A film of this type requires its actors to bring their A-game and in that department I was not disappointed in the slightest. Jeremy Renner brings his finest performance to the table since “The Town”. Renner walks a tricky line as his character’s daughter died under mysterious circumstances, but on screen he’s not all overwhelmed with emotion and hellbent on revenge. He’s actually quite composed and compassionate, and if you take a closer look into his eyes you’ll see a small gleam of sorrow in there. His characters inhibits the maelstrom of emotions swirling inside his head, and when he does express himself it’s actually finely calibrated. Portraying such an emotionally complex character requires unbridled finesse and Jeremy Renner knocked it out of Fenway park onto Lansdowne Street with this one. Elizabeth Olsen is brilliant and Graham Greene as the sardonic reservation sheriff does a phenomenal job with his role, but I think the standout among the supporting cast was Gil Birmingham playing Martin, the grieving father of the murdered young woman, who brings to the table a vigorously heartbreaking performance.

With ace performances across the board and a brilliant script, “Wind River” is a must-see and possibly the best film of the year. Even with the positive critical reception I’m still calling this film underrated because of its disappointing box office results and limited release. I’d certainly be downhearted if I wrote and directed something this cool only for my work to sink into the depths of the cinematic abyss. I implore you to give “Wind River” a shot, it’s worth the time.

My score: 9/10.

© 2017 Rami Nawfal

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Gusnaw 

      11 months ago

      Please share more reviews Rami.

    • profile image

      Gus 

      11 months ago

      Amazing review as always!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://reelrundown.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)