A city teen who travels to Montana to go hunting with his estranged father only for the strained trip to become a battle for survival when they encounter a grizzly bear
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★★★½ review by feedingbrett on Letterboxd
Films set against the isolated cold of the American outback, The Revenant and Wind River being recent prime examples, tend to amplify the particular conditions of humanity and often placed upon in a position of danger that is either set by the unpredictable harshness of nature or by the deep-seeded extremities of human immorality. Fight or flight is activated and often we bare witness to the nature of survival, an attempt to triumph through the seeming certainty of mortality.
Walking Out, a film by Alex and Andrew J. Smith, is a feature that covers similar tracks to the aforementioned examples. It explores the tense and distant relationship between a father and son, played by Matt Bomer and Josh Wiggins respectively, set against the cruel and punishing conditions of the North American wilderness (Montana to be specific). Divided by two distinct halves, with the former introducing and exploring the relationship between the two characters - and interconnecting certain flashback scenes involving Bomer’s Cal with his own father, Clyde (Bill Pullman) - while the latter finds Cal and his son, David, in a position of danger as mortality is ready to devour them at any minute.
While the first half’s intentions are crucial to the power that would be laid out in it’s latter portion, it does feel a little sluggish, especially since the film intentionally desires to withhold any sense of ground shaking drama to amplify the events that would later take place. Yet, I cannot help but appreciate the film for not taking the traditional route and make such characters so impulsive and reactionary. Both Cal and David show authentic human restraint and intellect in the way they interact and react to one another, hesitant to say something that has been lingering inside, knowing that stating such could not easily be taken back and could severely damage their relationship.
We see the fruitful rewards of such character assembly in the film’s second half, where despite such trialling and almost hopeless odds, we see the two grow in their relationships in ways that felt inapparent upon earlier exchanges. We witness David develop into maturity and acknowledge the true value of his father’s wisdom, while Cal realises the pride and joy he has for his son, whose existence and minimal time spent with him means the world to him than anything else. Walking Out doesn’t expand it’s tone and perspective despite the new circumstance that they find themselves in, but rather it remains consistent and strict with the quiet intimacy that was earlier established. The directors allowed the wilderness to step into this intimate bubble, both facilitating growth and challenging them, proving itself beyond than just mere aesthetics.
For 95 minute film, this doesn’t breeze through the entire narrative as one thinks it would. Instead, it allows each minute and second from that running time to breathe and lay things down brick by brick. The approach does manage to reward it’s viewers if given the appropriate time and attention, but that being said, I personally feel it’s initial half could have packed itself denser thematically. But maybe that’s just asking too much.
★★★★ review by Dylan Browne on Letterboxd
A simple beautiful story, presented with a visual delight with really good performances
★★★½ review by Jovica on Letterboxd
Double set of father/son relationships in the snowy cold mountain wilderness. It starts little bit slow and dull, but really makes up in the second part of the movie. Very nice nature shots, acting and original soundtrack.
★★★½ review by KholisNu on Letterboxd
“Petualang ayah anak yang menyentuh hati.”
Pelan namun indah, itu lah Walking Out. Menggambarkan betapa rasa takutnya David yang takut kehilangan ayahnya yang dia tidak begitu menyukainya. Perlahan tapi pasti dia mulai menyayanginya bahkan beberapa scene cukup menyentuh perasaan. Yang di gambarkan saat David secara tertahti menggendong ayahnya, menyuapi ayahnya dan raut wajah yang sedih dan takut saat ia sempat tersesat.
Over All, Enggak bisa ngomong apa-apa untuk film ini. Hampir satu jam hanya untuk meperkenalkan karaternya. Baru setelah itu masalah mulai muncul. Yang unik dari Walking Out adalah masalahnya itu munculnya gitu aja. Terus bagaimana David berjuang untuk pulang ditengah hutan yang penuh dengah salju. Belum lagi dia harus menggendong ayahnya yang mengalami kecelakaan.
★★★½ review by Trevor May on Letterboxd
Accidentally appropriate Fathers Day weekend viewing.
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