Film – Hell or High Water

Film – Hell or High Water

A crime film where two brothers decide the only way to hang on to their Texan family farm, which is thought to have oil on the land, is to rob the very bank that is foreclosing on them. They’ve recently lost their mum leaving them in debt via what they believe to be an unscrupulous deal from the bank. The older brother is fresh out of prison the other divorced with two children.

Once they start their crime spree, the Sheriff is on the case. Played by Jeff Bridges who’s mid- American country drawl I can now barely understand (I missed a good joke apparently) and supported by his half Mexican/half Indian deputy who endures all his racist jibes.

So the setup is nothing new. Although throughout this film I’m thinking this is what a Trump supporter looks like. These uninformed, hard-done by cowboys want their revenge on the society that is keeping them in inherited poverty for generations.

What lifts the film, apart from the acting are the many relationships. The brothers (Chris Pine and Ben Foster) spend time in the room their mother died in and we have a lingering, silent look at her hospital bed that remains there. My first thoughts are that must be costing them – why not give it back or sell it?

Then I realise the younger brother is mourning her whereas the ex-convict is saying good riddance. She seemed to have been a formidable, character, set in her ways and later we meet another perhaps similarly stubborn woman; in one of the most arresting scenes of the film, the banter between the two law enforcers takes them into a bar to eat and the waitress offers them just one choice of meal and drink, whatever the men say. And they duly take it.

The only low point was at one of the bank robberies where fatalistic big brother took an unwarranted risk: ‘because you asked, little brother‘.

Although littered with humour, this is a dark tale with a gloomier soundtrack in part by Nick Cave but it also includes the gritty country songs you’d expect.


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