Review with Spoilers!!!!!!!!!
The action takes place in the far west and movie opens on a woman who lives on a plot of land where she raises horses and farm animals. Her Name is Mary Bee Cuddy (Hilary Swank). Mary Bee is known for her bravery and her determined mind but both traits sadly do not appeal to men in that era. Volunteering to drive three insane ladies to a sanatorium, she teams up with George Briggs (Tommy Lee Jones), a low life drifter she had saved from certain death.
The movie gives a great depiction of the hardship of life in America’s western frontier. It is a tale of courage, it is a tale of survival in a land so rough that only the fit and the resilient make through. The movie is violent. No, you will not see blood. The violence resides in its depiction of mental insanity with the abrupt use of flashbacks that stay with you all along the movie, contributing to making you feeling uneasy.
The genius of the movie lies in the fact that it exposes through a picturesque narrative the tragedy and frailty of human life. No judgment is passed on, and what I appreciate is the fact that we as an audience are not spoon fed a politically correct rhetoric.
Hillary swank is at her best, portraying the main character Mary Bee Cuddy with precision. She loses herself in the character allowing the audience to hear Mary bee’s story, Mary bee’s voice, making us feel for her instantly. Mary Bee Cuddy’s character is the most compelling and her hurts and wants are transcribed in many parts of the movie and sometimes it is painful to watch.
The movie although engaging, fails in many ways:
The use of flashbacks to depict the insane nature of the three women acts was poorly done and felt out of place, breaking somehow the flow of the movie.
It fails also to communicate the reason why Mary bee left NY to live in that rough and solitary place.
I was mostly taken aback by the rather abrupt end of Hilary swank character’s life. She did not come across as a fragile soul or someone who would want to commit suicide. And it is in a way ironic that of all the women, only the one that appeared to be sane decided to throw in the towel.
Also, from the beginning of this movie she appeared to be the central character and making her die the way she did not only leaves you scratching your head but also signals the end of the movie. Her character was definitely the most engaging and I was left wanting more. Even the ending with the tombstone being thrown in the water did not make sense to me either.
The storyline is pretty easy to follow and there were definitely some funny moments, especially in the beginning, but the movie fails towards the end. It is certainly not a feel good movie.