Jeremy Saulnier had me at the cover of his movie.
A perfect gradient from cold blue to warm orange -death at sunset- and this guy holding a looking-like sniper (which isn’t but whatever), that he just got out of his trunk as it seems to be suggesting. Blue Ruin.
Revenge, I love.
A couple of breathtaking shots at the edge of rurality and urbanism. Those two elements are embedded in the main character, a homeless nomad. Dwight (Macon Blair) has long hair, a long beard and a survival instinct which leads him to break into people’s houses and take baths. He sleeps in a old car, reads book, and eat in the garbage of the carnival.
He is between nature and city, and Saulnier made sure to implement this “collision” of worlds in the spectator’s mind from the first second.
We don’t know Dwight’ story, we are guests in his pittoresque but cosy life, and we feel a little bit disturbed just like he is when a cop knocks at his car’s window; the guy that killed his parents got out of jail.
The poetic side of the movie stays in the decors.
He started by being an outsider surviving by infiltrating the city from time to time and after hearing the news he took care of his first business that seemed to release him from his previous state.
Indeed, he goes through a basic metamorphosis; hair cut, shave and new clothes, to finish the rest. Paradoxically, if we refer to the backgrounds used, we can clearly see the nature taking over by “eating up” everything that’s not natural, just like Dwight is taking over his life, and destroying those you put him into the shadows with their inhuman act.
Macon Blair interprets an antihero, a little goofy, a guy that seems prepared for action, but doesn’t know how to shoot because of his too naive guts. He chooses a revenge that is bloody, just like it would be if a lion attacked an antelope; the darkness, than blood and raw injuries.
Dwight is a guy we can identify to, because he is raw, because he is natural, because if we were in the same situation, we wouldn’t have prepared the whole thing like Emily of the TV Show Revenge did, no, we would have take a butcher knife and slaughter the motherfuckers with our goofy hands.
The last thing that bewitched me is his use of light and shadow as a musical element. That is, when some directors use music to warn us that something is going to happen, or now you’re supposed to cry, or now it’s a happy situation, Saulnier is using light and shadow to translate action, despair, sadness or fear.
But loneliness is the main feeling we have the entire movie; the hero is alone from the beginning to the end.