Wind River has a serious problem with a shockingly slow tempo
Wind River has a serious problem with a shockingly slow tempo. It has clearly been influenced by the likes of Fargo and other Coen brothers films, but Fargo understands a huge amount more about how characterisation is used with a thin running plot. Wind River really suffers from weak characters trying to force emotions and it’s overly long script needed some serious editing before production began.
A woman’s body is found miles from civilisation, trapped beneath thick snow. Cory (Jeremy Renner), a wildlife officer, alerts the authorities, and a full-scale FBI investigation begins. Agent Jane Banner (Caitlin Olsen) is tasked with uncovering the truth, which becomes more concerning when the autopsy reveals the woman was raped.
It’s not all gloom with a good performance from Kaitlin Olsen and a breathtaking setting in the Wyoming mountains. The climax scene is wonderfully quick and it is a story that needed telling but perhaps not in this format nor this manner. There aren’t enough theatrics pushing Wind River onwards, with frankly laborious conversations filling up much of the runtime.
Far too often does the film believes it has done enough, believes that its characters are pulling their weight and winning over an audience, when in fact, it is failing. The direction is strong and the setting would work in tandem with more nuanced roles, but Wind River simply lacks the substance to be able to both draw and hold more than a minimal amount of an audience’s attention.