About – A divorced young brother, Toby Howard (Chris Pine), and an older ex-con brother, Tanner Howard (Ben Foster) set out a plan to save their families southern Texan ranch.
The brilliant and upcoming writer Taylor Sheridan has had an amazing year, writing Sicario (2015) and now Hell or High Water. He has only written two films and both of them have taken me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting anything that special from Hell or High Water but it has so much brilliance and incredible non-diogetic sounds (music), which really brings the whole film together.
The way that Taylor Sheridan has written Hell or High Water is very similar to Sicario (2015) on how the characters and the layout of the film are introduced to us. The narrative is very similar regards to the meaning behind the film and the characters individuality.
Taylor Sheridan is definitely going places if he is writing films like he has been doing, just hope his next one doesn’t resemble the same elements as the other two. But arguing that statement I hope he carries on writing some more amazing films.
Hell or High Water is classed as a Crime Drama, without a doubt it is classed as both of these genres, but I would also add in Western. With the location set in Southern Texas and the people involved being cowboys, it has to be classed as a modern-day Western.
The way that Hell or High Water is classed as a modern-day Western is by the two brothers planning to save their family ranch but taking down the modern day problems that everyone in the western world has with. It also shows the true struggles that southern Texans have to deal with, their ranches and their local town becoming a ghost town.
There are three main characters involved in Hell or High Water with, as mentioned before, Toby Howard (Chris Pine), Tanner Howard (Ben Foster) and Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges). Personally these three are the main characters; there isn’t just one person’s side of the story they all have their own personalities and have their said of the story.
Toby Howard played by Chris Pine, not being a big fan of Chris Pine I couldn’t imagine him playing this role very well but yet again this surprised me as well. With the rugged look and Texan accent it was really refreshing to see from such a well-known actor from Hollywood. Toby Howard is the younger brother that has done everything by the rule book and doesn’t get into any bother.
Whereas unlike Tanner Howard played by Ben Foster, he is the ex-con older brother that has the attitude like the world owes him something. That doesn’t go away no matter what the outcome of his life turns out to be. Ben Foster plays this amazingly, showing the big brother ‘I don’t care’ persona he works with Chris like they are actual brothers that have this love hate relationship that doesn’t seem to get weary.
Marcus Hamilton played by Jeff Bridges, is the county sheriff that is about to retire but doesn’t want to because of the fear of getting bored and being lonely. He puts in all of his knowledge into the case but can’t figure out the real reason on why they are doing the business. Jeff Bridges played this amazingly, finding the right balance of knowledge and arrogance. Jeff really knows how to direct his jokes to the audience by doing it on-screen for that little humour involved.
Overall the cast and characters were performed superbly it really captured the raw realism of Texans and how they would act in certain situations like this one.
The non-diogetic sound (music) is done in a way that after the screening had such a big impact on me and how I interpreted the entire film. It was all American country music and then a subtle tense orchestra just like what we hear in Sicario (2015). During Hell or High Water you are always tapping along to the music and singing in your head, it has been done in such a brilliant way that really you don’t have to think about the song or your surroundings. You are that transfixed into the characters story and the location it makes you want to become a Texan.
Finally, Hell of High Water is up there with one of the best films I have seen this year. It has everything from a great storyline, characters/cast, the locations and non-diogetic sound it really brings everything together for that great film feeling, for a crime drama western. Western as a genre that is coming back into the limelight that are being produced, Hell or High Water is a must see modern-day Western if you don’t like the old style cowboys vs. Indians this is totally different to your typical Western.