I’ve noticed a particular trend of movies that portray smaller towns in Middle Class America that deal with the average person and tend to have a symbolism around what the inner workings of America are really like, besides what’s being portrayed on the news, whether it be on a local or national level. The furnace is the part of a building that houses the heat to fuel the fire of the home. The furnace room is often the one part of the home that’s used for storage and usually where the Washer & Drying Machines are located, so the symbolism right off the bat is that this is a story about making it out of the bottom of the house to the top, or walking through the fire to a destination point that is unclear. It’s amazing that Christian Bale, who played Bruce Wayne in the reprised Batman trilogy, has gone on to win an Oscar and appear in just about each and every blockbuster movie you can think of over the past couple of years (honourable mention: Bradley Cooper). What was also surprising to me was that this movie happened to be produced by not only Ridley Scott, but also Leonardo DiCaprio – that was a touch of random, I can’t lie.
Pennsylvania is a massive state and the main source of its economy comes from steel manufacturing (Pittsburgh is known as ‘The Steel City’, but it’s really a ‘Steel State’). A small city with its share of declining times calls sometimes for desperate measures, and really the movie focuses on the lives of Rodney & Russell Baze (played by Casey Affleck & Christian Bale, respectively). When it comes to readjusting to a regular lifestyle after separate events change their lives in the most unnatural way, finding yourself may not be as easy as people would think it to be, and then you end up in debt, and evidently you end up in trouble – which is never a good thing. Rodney (a U.S Solider who did 4 tours in Iraq) and Russell (a 2nd generation Steel mill worker) have both had to readjust, but when it hits the fan and blood is drawn, then justice needs to be dealt with. Also making up the surprisingly talented cast was: Woody Harrelson (who never fails to play a ‘good’ bad guy), Zoe Saldana, Sam Shepard, Willem Dafoe, and Forest Whitaker (again, more random).
This movie was long, and at times you could really feel its length show, but there was a lot of suspense, and the story did stay on course. The movie I could sort of relate to is The Place Beyond The Pines when it comes down to the small town setting with the tales of 2 lives and how they intersect with each other. It’s not on that detailed scale, but it was neat to see how Russell & Rodney’s characters were paralleled with each other, which help build the drama and add to the suspense. There’s such a thing when it comes to dragging out the point so long, but at the same time, I understand that you don’t want to rush to a conclusion, because you could miss some steps in the process. Many people saw the trailer for this movie (like I did) and automatically assume that it was going to be a shoot-em-up from start to finish. If those were your expectations, then there’s no doubt in my mind that you will be disappointed, because it’s a movie that focuses a lot on the characters first because it adds so much to the plot. Was it done well? Yes. Should you watch it? Yes. Casey Affleck did a great job in this movie; outperformed Christian, but their chemistry as playing brothers worked well enough to keep the story intact. It’s an emotional movie as it is suspenseful, but don’t get your hopes up for something phenomenal. It’s still a good movie in my eyes, but I’ll let you be the judge. This is my opinion, this is my review, but for now
That’s My Word & It STIXX