January 21, 2011 by Post Team
Ed Harris, (CP) – “The Way Back” is a perfect example of style over substance, eclipsing visuals wide characters and almost swallowing the whole story. Veteran Australian director Peter Weir, a candidate for an Oscar six times (“Witness”,”The Truman Show “), designed a historical epic in the former, inspired by the true story of a group of prisoners who escaped a Soviet labor 1940. Painfully camp and thousands of miles of unforgiving terrain on their freedom are not all of them did, we would have guessed ourselves, but Weir – who co-wrote the screenplay with Keith Clarke, based on the book Slavomir Rawicz “The Long Walk” – informs us with a title card at the beginning that three men out of the Himalayas at the end of this arduous journey.
The result: Despite the gravity of the subject, the film loses its tension, because we know about the outcome, leaving us to wonder who lives and who dies, as if watching a episode of “Survivor: Siberian Gulag “.
And he is serious – or at least it should be. Weir alternates between vivid and compelling images of the harsh environment – sweepingly shot on location in Bulgaria, Morocco and India – and detailed close-ups of the toll the trip took on the characters’ faces, their bodies, and especially their feet.
But, except for Ed Harris”comme a mysterious American, Jim Sturgess as a Polish officer idealistic and Colin Farrell as a thug over-the-top Russian, the remaining characters are essentially interchangeable. Even if the film feels too long, not enough time was spent to make these people make, and threats to their lives, is urgent and real.
This only emphasizes the episodic film structure almost video game-like: Now they are in a snowstorm, now they are in the forest, now they are walking through rocky terrain, now they are obstinate in the sand. Surviving a level and then it’s on the side, and the next. The tension must be unbearable, but rather, “The Way Back” feels like exactly what it is: a long, slow march toward death.
Saoirse Ronan animates things like a young Polish woman traveling alone and is connected with the group halfway – even if they are divided over whether to allow him to join them. Not only is it lively and friendly, which helps bring out some of their stories back, but it also has items handy-dandy like soap, which they desperately need. Ronan Harris with scenes in which they develop a sort of father-daughter relationship, are some of the most satisfactory, despite the seemingly insurmountable conditions, it maintains an almost ethereal quality, the opposite of pragmatism.
The moments when they bond you want, there were others like them, and they come too late.
“Homeward bound,” a statement of Newmarket Films is rated PG-13 for violent content, representations of physical difficulties, and an image of nked and brief strong language. Length: 133 minutes. Two out of four.
Motion Picture Association of America rating definitions:
G – General audiences. All ages admitted.
PG – Parental guidance suggested. Some scenes may be unsuitable for children.
PG-13 – Special parental guidance strongly suggested for children fewer than 13. Some material may be inappropriate for young children.
R – Restricted. Under 17 accompanied by a parent or adult guardian.
NC-17 – Not fewer than 17 admitted.
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