June 03, 2016 - 3:01 PM
We couldn’t stop talking for the first few minutes of the movie. Every couple of seconds someone would whisper, ‘look, there’s the Enderby bridge’ or ‘there’s the diner.’ From the moment we saw our community on the big screen, I think Blackway captured all our hearts.
As producer Rick Dugdale always promised, you truly do see Enderby from the opening scene to the credits. The town of Enderby and surrounding waterways and snow-dusted mountains are featured prominently — and I think for many of us, the scenery itself might have even stolen the spotlight from the great Sir Anthony Hopkins. Even the director referred to the location as ‘the fifth character of the film.’
But, enough swooning over this now famous backdrop we call home. Now that we’ve all settled into our seats, let’s talk about the movie. In contrast to the joyous atmosphere at last night’s premiere at the Enderby Drive-In, the mood of the actual film is anything but. Unflinchingly dark, the movie reveals the bleak underbelly of a town corroded by drugs and a corrupt former cop turned crime lord. It’s raw and rough and ugly.
Before I get any further, I should warn you, the rest of this editorial may contain some spoilers. If you want a completely unadulterated perspective going into the film, stop reading and go see the movie when it hits theatres Friday, June 10.
SPOILER ALERT BEYOND THIS POINT
From the first scene, we are thrown into the nightmare of a young woman (Julia Stiles) who’s returned to her small hometown, only to be creepily harassed by a notorious drug lord (Ray Liotta). Not even the local sheriff will help her get him off her back, so she turns to a group of loggers for help. A soft-spoken, no-nonsense, grey-haired logger played by Sir Anthony Hopkins, and a young man played by Alexander Ludwig step up to her aid.
The film unfolds over the span of just 24 hours, but fills the audience in with a series of flashbacks. It feels a bit like a short story told on film; you get a short snapshot of a time and place, and just enough backstory on the characters to get you hooked.
You might know Julia Stiles from romantic comedies like 10 Things I Hate About You or blockbusters like The Bourne Identity, but her performance in Blackway is something unique. Her character is real and relatable — not done up or glamorous — making her feel like a woman you could meet at a rundown bar in real life.
Hopkins is the perfect mix between sweet old man and cutthroat revenge-seeker. The entire film is generally light on dialogue, and Hopkins’ character is no exception. But he makes his lines count, and when he’s not speaking, his body language does all the talking.
Perhaps the most unexpected performance comes from pretty boy Alexander Ludwig, who plays a quiet young man with a speech impediment. You aren’t given much history about him, but his character is still full of depth and complexity thanks to Ludwig's skillful portrayal of him.
Ray Liotta plays the villain, and just oozes creepiness. He’s the kind of guy you’d hate to meet in a dark alleyway, and will probably give you nightmares.
I also have to mention the soundtrack, which underscores the film’s sinister edge with heavy base music at just the right moments.
If you’re from the area, you might want to watch the movie twice: once to soak up the local scenery, and again to focus on the story itself. I know I will be.
— Charlotte Helston is the Vernon reporter for iNFOnews.ca.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016