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Robin Wright’s Land Is Almost A Great Film




Starring Robin  Wright,  Demián Bichir

Directed  by  Robin Wright 

Rating: *** ½ 

 How  do  you embrace life when it deals you a blow worse than  death?  Unlike Sophie  Jones  Edee Mathis(Robin  Wright) is  not confused  about  how to cope  with her  grief.  She wants out. She  does  contemplate  taking her own life. But something holds her  back, something vital that goes beyond grief.

Edee does the  next best thing. She heads  to the mountains,  throws her mobile  phone into  a  bin, sends her vehicle back and settles down  into  a state  of  immovable  solitude in  a one-room  cottage which is barely large  enough for her to sleep but  large enough to accommodate her grief.

 Starting off as  story of unimaginable  bereavement , Land then becomes a survival story with  Edee almost killed in a ferocious blizzard  that blows away her  self confidence and leaves her half-dead. After this  Land evolves  into something else , something  passionate,precious and poignant.

 The  friendship that Edee forms  with a fellow-loner Miguel(Demián Bichir) is  a slow-burn  intense experience  brought to the screen  with a  rare sensitivity. At first the two  outcasts , uncannily united   by  a similar tragedy  in their  life , share silences. Then they begin to laugh and sing together. There is never any sex. This is a  truly  out-of-body experience. What  Robin Writer’s remarkable  film tells us  about  human relationships  goes way  beyond the  physical.

 Land is  not  about geographical  territory. It’s about that invisible space where  an  individual seeks and finds his or her  true self. Edee’s  self-awareness  is  not  something we  see . We feel it happening. By the end  of the film she is stronger.You know what they say about what  can’t break you.We feel her strength.We know it is born  out of her frailties.Unbroken, unvanquished she is ready to rejoin civilization. 

Land makes  a  very strong case for Man(or Woman)  and  the  bonding with Nature. The imposing mountains, the  freezing cold and the  isolating snow storms…these  are shot by cinematographer  Bobby Bokowski in a mood of  meditative  malancholic  majesty. Then  there  is the central performance. Robin Wright, so  right in  long-ago  films like  Nine Lives,Breaking  & Enteringand  Unbreakable  gives   the performance of her lifetime. Her character’s pain will hit you  where  it hurts the most.

As a  director  Ms Wright seems to have gathered together  the acquired wisdom  of two decades  in front of the camera  to know  what  lurks  behind it. She is  specially skilled in showing us how isolated  an  individual can be even in company while coping with grief. A truly remarkable directorial debut for an actress who has never shied away  from  exposing her truest  feelings on  camera.Here  he  lets  us into  a lot more than words can express.

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