Monday, 12 May 2014

Blue Ruin (2013)

A broken man, clumsy and visceral violence and a overall atmosphere of bleak tragedy are the main ingredients for Blue Ruin; a revenge film that takes the genre in a melancholic direction and paints revenge as the dishonourable act it can be.

The with a dialogue-free sequence following the life of a drifter on the Delaware coast. He eeks out an existence metres from the joy and happiness of the fun fair on the pier. Eating out of bins, scavenging bottles to recycle for cash on the beach and breaking into homes in order to feed and clean himself make up his day-to-day existence. This broken man without purpose, Dwight, was driven to this life after a tragedy tore his family and his life apart, and now he finally has an opportunity to exact his revenge on those who robbed him.

Macon Blair plays this listless, fragmented man. His Dwight isn't the typical revenge thriller hero or anti-hero. Dwight is a man doing the only thing he thinks will make him whole again and how he deals with the fallout. He's a pitiable shell of a man who doesn't talk much and can't handle a gun. He's not a badass and this isn't Taken.

It's his ineptness that really sells the bleakness of Blue Ruin. The clumsy, and realistic, take on the violence paints the walls of the rural homes a visceral and raw shade of red. There are no drawn out fight sequences, no massive gunfights. Just scared people struggling to find a way to make themselves feel better.

Blue Ruin, with its conservative use of dialogue and uncompromising look at violent revenge, makes a beautifully tragic watch. It presents a damning indictment of America's infatuation with the right to bear arms against one another. When the truth is being decided by the person standing at the right end of the barrel, nobody really goes home a winner.

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