Sunday, June 28, 2020

Run with the Hunted - Movie Review

The Movie: Run with the Hunted

The Director: John Swab

The Cast: Michael Pitt, Ron Perlman, Dree Hemingway, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Mark Boone Junior, William Forsythe, Mitchell Paulsen

The Story: Oscar, a young boy, commits a noble murder and is forced to run away from his rural hometown, leaving behind his best friend, Loux.  15 years later, he has forgotten his past and become the leader of a band of lost children. Loux takes it upon herself to find the boy who saved her life.

The Review:
There are dark crime dramas and then there are dark crime dramas. This movie is definitely a dark crime drama and it touches on a lot of serious topics like poverty, abuse, desperation, family, love, and loss. Writer and director John Swab sets the movie up quickly with a heavy dose of pretty much everything I described all within the first maybe ten minutes of the movie. Oscar, a young boy played by Mitchell Paulsen, decides he has had enough of his best friend's abusive father and takes a very drastic course of action which sends him on a journey that's not as much to freedom as it to escaping the inevitable.

Swab writes a continuous series of gut punch moments into his film, each one meant to punctuate the state of existence the people in the film are stuck in mostly thanks to lack of opportunity or access. He shows, sometimes in subtle ways and sometimes in more obvious ways, how oppression creates a cycle of criminal existence for people who fall into its traps. There are no easy ways out and, even if there were, the people in this story wouldn't even know how to find them and might not even want to explore them because their reality is so ingrained into who they are, anything else might seem worse than where they are already at.

Yes, the story is dark but there are threads of hope embedded into it as well and I think that's what's most interesting about the movie. Swab forces the audience to look at these people's lives not so much as a way to look down on them and pity them, it's more like look how these people persevere and sometimes thrive when there seems to be nothing there for them. Not everyone who finds themselves in dark times or unsavory circumstances will find their way out but, even those who don't succeed can still live their lives with a sense of purpose and a sort of nobility that allows them to maintain some sense of humanity. I think that's what we are supposed to see is that, no matter who we are, where we are, what we believe, or what we are living for. We are all human and deserve to be treated as such.

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