Thursday, November 5, 2009

Seraphim Falls

Movie Review : Seraphim Falls
Released : 2007
Genre : Western
Director : David Von Ancken
Starring: Liam Neeson, Pierce Brosnan
Rated R for violence, language
My Rating : 7 out of 10

I am always interested in watching movies that are non mainstream yet show a promise based on the storyline or actors or directors. So I was enthusiastic about watching Seraphim Falls. Hadn't even heard about this one in spite of the 2 very strong lead actors.

The movie begins with Pierce Brosnan (playing Gideon) being shot at. He survives, and we see that hot on his trails is Liam Neeson (playing Carver) with a band of 4 bounty hunters. This chase continues through the movie till the very end.

Initially, not much clue is offered as to who these people are and why the chase is on. As the story continues, we see how ruthless the 2 main characters are. We keep getting glimpses of the past, but the director intentionally keeps us guessing as to who is a good guy and whom should we root for. This works very well. Of course at the right time, we are given enough background to make up our minds.

I would classify this is a Western. And although this is not a shootout, the violence is at times shocking. The movie is very quiet, shot in beautiful lonely locations and maintains a certain Western mood throughout.

The strongest point of the movie is definitely Pierce Brosnan. He has proved very well that he is more than just James Bond. This maybe his best performance yet. The movie is worth watching just for his acting. Liam Neeson is as dependable as he has been in other movies, giving yet another solid performance.

David Von Ancken has directed many TV serials and he certainly shows a lot of imagination directing a full length movie. The movie starts in freezing snowy mountains and ends in a dry, arid, hot place. The pace is well maintained and viewers are guaranteed to be gripped. Till about two thirds of the movie. Unfortunately, the director's desire to infuse symbolism - presumably done with the intention of raising the level of the movie - completely falls flat on its face. I won't give away too much, but the near mystical appearances of unnecessary characters were confusing and pointless. It spoiled the movie for me.

This movie is not for everyone, even of you enjoy Westerns this is a different take on the genre. It is certainly not for kids. I think it's well worth the time, if you are willing to watch it with the knowledge that the movie loses itself in the end.

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