Ravenous (1999)

Ravenous
Director: Antonia Bird
Writer: Ted Griffin
Cast: Guy Pearce, Robert Carlyle, David Arquette, Jeremy Davies, Jeffrey Jones, John Spencer, Stephen Spinella, Neal McDonough, Joseph Runningfox, Bill Brochtrup, Sheila Tousey
Seen on: 17.8.2018

Plot:
After a promotion that his superior feels was actually unearned, Captain John Boyd (Guy Pearce) is reassigned to Fort Spencer, middle of nowhere. The fort is small and there are only a handful of soldiers posted there. Soon after his arrival, a man (Robert Carlyle) shows up at the fort. He is in bad condition and once he finds a little strength, he starts telling them of his party who turned to cannibalism to survive. The soldiers in the fort know they have to do something about them.

Ravenous had been on my watchlist for a very long time and while I didn’t love it, it was really good. I’m glad I finally got around to it.

The film poster showing an opened mouth.

Ravenous builds a strong, intriguing atmosphere and an overall pull that kept me glued to the screen. The music was great and a big factor in the tension and draw of the film. The cast was another factor, especially Carlyle shines in an eccentric role that is just perfect for him – and that he does perfectly as well.

Nevertheless, the film didn’t quite reach me. I am pretty sure that people who appreciate Westerns more than I tend to do, will not have this problem. But it’s not my genre, and films in it usually have to work twice as hard to make me like them. It’s not that the film was bad or that I didn’t like it at all, I just didn’t connect enough with it.

Robert Carlyle and Guy Pearce in the film.

What I really didn’t like though was the portrayal of the two native characters George and Martha (Joseph Runningfox, Sheila Tousey). Part of it was on purpose – the film doesn’t sugarcoat the social standing of two natives in a camp of white soldiers. But another part of it was less on purpose, I’m afraid – their characterization teetered along the edge of being stereotypical. It really didn’t make me happy.

Other than that, though, it’s a strong film and I’m glad I can finally cross it off my (way too long anyway) watchlist. It’s definitely worth seeing.

Guy Pearce in the film.

Summarizing: good, but not my cup of tea.

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