short film reviews, criticism, and occasional musing.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Seraphim Falls (2006, USA)

I’ve been on a Cormac McCarthy kick lately, and since it’s another few months until No Country for Old Men arrives (sidenote – squee!), I thought that for the time being, Seraphim Falls might serve as a decent substitute. Starring Liam Neeson and an excellent Pierce Brosnan, the action takes place across the snowy hills and desert plains of the American West, as the two men play a protracted game of cat-and-mouse. The conceit is that for the majority of the film, the audience has no real idea what these men are in relation to one another, or why Neeson is so dogged in his pursuit of Brosnan – when the original tragedy finally comes to light in the third act, it becomes hard to separate good from evil.

On a whole, I found Seraphim to be a bit simplistic, but a very good chase film nonetheless. Some of the symbolism, particularly near the close, clashes with the realism of the larger story, and seems extraneous rather than organic. However, the action is excellent, as is the cross-section of the Old West that the two men periodically stumble upon. It must have been a brutal shoot (particularly for Brosnan), but well worth it.


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