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  #1  
Old February 21st, 2018, 07:47 AM
ashdoc ashdoc is offline
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Ashdoc's movie review---Hostiles

Captain Joseph Blocker ( Christian Bale ) hates the Native Americans whom he calls savages . He has killed a lot of them in the past . And yet he is called upon to do the most detestable task for a man like him ; he has to escort a dying Native American chief named Yellow Hawk ( Wes Studi ) of the Cheyenne tribe back to his ancestral land after release of the chief from imprisonment . This journey will take them from fort Berringer in New Mexico all the way to Montana . The year is 1892 . The native American chief himself has killed a lot of people quite brutally in his days , and that makes the task doubly detestable for Blocker . But the orders are from the President himself and can't be disregarded on pain of court martial .

But by the end of the journey the captain is a changed man . He defends the native chief's right to stay and die on the land against other white men who believe that natives have no rights by fighting the white men with gunfire . And he helps bury the chief and his clanspeople who have died in the fight .

So how did the captain change ? The movie does not quite show any particular moment when his mind changes . But the dangerous journey in which both the Cheyennes and the party of troops escorting them have to fight numerous threats to their life and limb probably makes him a better man . Comradeship in intense circumstances has a way of melting people the way nothing else can....

On the way they encounter a devastated woman who has lost her entire family including her husband and children in a massacre by Native Americans of the Comanche tribe . Rosalie Quaid ( Rosamund Pike ) is at first scared on seeing the natives in the troop as they remind her of the natives who had killed her family , but she learns to accept them and they are on their way .

But violence continues to plague the group in the form of further gun battles with the Comanches and others . The fight scenes are brutal and the killings are realistic . There is no mercy shown in many of the situations . By the time the climax is finished many of the protagonists have died violent deaths . Only a few are left . And those few who are left are on the point of developing permanent relationships with each other . Yes , Blocker and Rosalie and the only surviving Native American little girl may become a family in the end . Thus the grim movie ends in a high point and on a note of optimism .

This is a progressive western different from the westerns of an earlier era which showed the natives are villains and whites as heroes . Here some natives are good while others are bad , similar to whites in the movie who may be good in some cases or bad in the other . Some characters in the movie spout dialogues about the injustice of the whites' treatment of the Native Americans . However this makes it a serious movie rather than an entertainer . Tilting towards the art form of movies though not completely . But even though it tries hard to be pro Native American , it does not fully succeed . The Native American characters are not well developed ; maybe the barrier is language as they cannot speak English well and we can understand only English . The characters of the whites are of course fully developed and both hero and heroine are white .

Photography is the hallmark of the film , with stunning scenes of black clouds in the sky in the monsoon and fog and mist as it rains later in the movie . In the earlier part of the movie we see glorious shots of the changing American landscape which is yellow in the beginning in the desert and turns greener with pine trees as we go north with shots on rivers being crossed in between . Acting is good by all actors and background music is appropriate for the situations . The characters in the film look hardy and increasingly weatherbeaten as the movie progresses . Yet both Rosamund Pike and Christian Bale look good . So does the movie .

Verdict---Three stars out of five .
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Last edited by ashdoc; February 21st, 2018 at 08:39 AM.
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Old February 21st, 2018, 09:30 AM
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Re: Ashdoc's movie review---Hostiles

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...

This is a progressive western different from the westerns of an earlier era which showed the natives are villains and whites as heroes . Here some natives are good while others are bad , similar to whites in the movie who may be good in some cases or bad in the other . Some characters in the movie spout dialogues about the injustice of the whites' treatment of the Native Americans . However this makes it a serious movie rather than an entertainer . Tilting towards the art form of movies though not completely . But even though it tries hard to be pro Native American , it does not fully succeed . The Native American characters are not well developed ; maybe the barrier is language as they cannot speak English well and we can understand only English . The characters of the whites are of course fully developed and both hero and heroine are white .
...
Aapne aisa kaunsa western dekha jis mein native americans villains hai All the westerns I have seen usually have white heroes and villains. Even the newer ones I have seen, like Revenant. Can't remember seeing a single western where natives are shown are primary villains.
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Old February 21st, 2018, 10:06 AM
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Re: Ashdoc's movie review---Hostiles

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Originally Posted by Sane Less View Post
Aapne aisa kaunsa western dekha jis mein native americans villains hai All the westerns I have seen usually have white heroes and villains. Even the newer ones I have seen, like Revenant. Can't remember seeing a single western where natives are shown are primary villains.
But many of them are shown to be bad people in earlier westerns. Mostly rampaging marauders attacking with their blood curdling cries .
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Old February 22nd, 2018, 02:50 AM
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Re: Ashdoc's movie review---Hostiles

I always wonder on the journey movies.... this trip that bale and pike have done is only half the life... they do need to return back where they came from? would face the same hazards again...
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Old February 22nd, 2018, 02:54 AM
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Re: Ashdoc's movie review---Hostiles

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But many of them are shown to be bad people in earlier westerns. Mostly rampaging marauders attacking with their blood curdling cries .
as stereotypes, more often than not, they are shown as losers rather than bad people.... uncivilised probably, but not always villains.

not different from portrayal of Indians in the likes of Indiana jones movies...
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Old February 22nd, 2018, 03:08 AM
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Re: Ashdoc's movie review---Hostiles

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I always wonder on the journey movies.... this trip that bale and pike have done is only half the life... they do need to return back where they came from? would face the same hazards again...
No . Bale has to go to some other posting nearby . Pike has lost her family and is not going back . It is arranged for her to go with the the only surviving Indian girl in train somewhere. But she gives such a longing look to bale while sitting in the train that bale decides to accompany the two women by getting in the train by back door as it wounds out of the station .
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Old February 22nd, 2018, 05:34 AM
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Re: Ashdoc's movie review---Hostiles

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No . Bale has to go to some other posting nearby . Pike has lost her family and is not going back . It is arranged for her to go with the the only surviving Indian girl in train somewhere. But she gives such a longing look to bale while sitting in the train that bale decides to accompany the two women by getting in the train by back door as it wounds out of the station .
the assumption being that all 3 of them leave their lives behind and start afresh somewhere from scratch?

what about all other people who accompanied them? I supposed that is looking at a movie with lenses of practicality - never a strong point for movies.
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Old February 22nd, 2018, 05:49 AM
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Re: Ashdoc's movie review---Hostiles

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the assumption being that all 3 of them leave their lives behind and start afresh somewhere from scratch?

what about all other people who accompanied them? I supposed that is looking at a movie with lenses of practicality - never a strong point for movies.
Most of them have been killed in ambushes . It's a brutal western.
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