Saturday , April 17 2021

The Mustang Review: Matthias Schoenaerts takes the drama of the jail horse

Matthias Schoenaerts and a wild stallion try to domesticate each other in this thriving and poetic drama about a man and his horse.

Roman Coleman (Matthias Schoenaerts) is the type of man who is in the middle of a horse. In fact, this is exactly what the bald head bruiser does the first time he finds himself in a round feather with the indisputable mustang that has been assigned to tame and prepare for the auction. It does not matter that the stallion weighs more than 1,000 pounds, or, in this case, that the horses do not have fists; Roman only knows how to express himself for violence. That is why it has been closed at the North Nevada Correction Center for a good part of a decade and why its long jail has been frequently interrupted by solitary confinement.

"I'm not good with the people," Roman grows up to the psychologist of the prison (Connie Britton) who tries to help him return to the general population. It seems that it is not better with animals. And, nevertheless, it is recognized in that bronco ramonet; He can not but relate to another living creature that puts a lot of a fight. And in the course of the poetic and elementary debut of Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, these two wild beasts will dominate the best possible.

Unfolding as a powerful cross between "Lean where Pete" and "The Shawshank Redemption", "The Mustang" begins by informing us that 100,000 wild horses still circulate in the western United States, even if the Office of Management of the Territory maintains that the country can only support a fraction of that. The government solution: adoption and euthanasia. However, every year, a small number of horses, perhaps those who are too ferocious to be domesticated, but too clever to leave, are selected for the Wild Horse Prison Program, where those in charge have the # 39 ; order to train horses and prepare them for the auction (this is a real initiative, and several of their graduates appear in the movie with featured voice roles).

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It is never easy to break a wild animal, but the prologue to the Clermont-Tonnerre film expresses no words how difficult it can be, since it uses a helicopter (a lot) of low flying to direct the flock in a small pen, air just a few meters away from so many careless ways. This is a visceral introduction: our first vision of the rugged Nevada mountains, which support jail and cut it out of the world, and that conveys primary energy that contains any type of jail.

It's the kind of power that has barely suppressed that Schoenaerts has embodied from his performance in "Bullhead", even in his most docile roles, which often seems to threaten to explode his own skin Clermont-Tonnerre's script, written in conjunction with Mona Fastvold and Brock Norman Brock, is aware of this impotent rage, while reducing romance to a child that does not control their own emotions. It seems to be a minor miracle every time it's assembled through an interaction without getting hurt or someone else; Each instance is so warmly unnatural as the scene where there is an intense storm on the patio, forcing all the horses in the kitchen of the prison for their safety. Schoenaerts has never been better.

Matthias Schoenaerts is a Roman star at Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, THE MUSTANG, a release of Focus Features. Credit: Focus features

"The Mustang"

Focus features

It is a short but patient movie full of evocative images and always reversed in the present moment (at one point, the totality of "The National National" interprets how the camera shows that the horses of the prison is closed under their corridors of tension), so it is easy to forgive a very small narrative that does not always win the change that aims to instigate in their characters.

"The Mustang" is much stronger at the beginning and end, at the extremities of their emotions, than when navigating between them. The first scene between Roman and the horse that later denominates Marquess is especially powerful. It seems almost as a tribute to the opening of the "Jurassic Park", since the stallion is trapped inside a dark enclosure and is doing serious damage to someone as silly as to get too close. The prisoner is so obviously electrified by this anger that the old chimpanzee that directs the program (a Bruce Dern with a good abrasive) insists that he be a part of him. If Roman can break this horse, maybe he can break. Judging by the way he takes his pregnant teenage daughter ("Blockers" star Gideon Adlon), he has a long way to go.

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Getting there will not be a simple process, and "The Mustang" is running in circles when it means pushing the Roman in the right direction. Britton is losing a lot, as Jason Mitchell does in the role of a more experienced inmate that works like a pet for the show. A sub-plot of drug smuggling never comes up over a means to finish, although the script is not too trapped in this drama, and avoids many of the exhausted soldiers who expect to see in a movie that almost never goes out of jail

When firing in an abandoned (but well preserved) prison in Nevada, Clermont-Tonnerre captures a place of so vivid sense that the Roman world almost feels immune to the cliché. The Roman himself is not always so fortunate, since the character is more of a kind than a human being, but Schoenaerts makes a great meal of man's frustrations, and of his tacit conscience, Total redemption is not necessarily realistic, someone guilty of their particular crime (taking the same trick from Showtime's "Escape in Dannemora", Clermont-Tonnerre waits until he obtains a measure of empathy for his protagonist before it is us let me fall into the details of your crime).

A tense junk drama that is thought of in the western western decorations, "The Mustang" is a small movie about a subtle transformation, but its closing moments (however much they are essential) are so emotional as unexpected Some horses can not be broken, but the spiritual debut of Clermont-Tonnerre is reflected with the feeling that even the unforgivable men can be fixed.

Grade: B

"The Mustang" premiered at the Sundance Film Festival of 2019. Focus Features will be screened on select cinemas on March 15.

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