Culture / Film

Review: Blue Ruin @ Cineworld

The opening scene of Jeremy Saulnier’s Blue Ruin certainly doesn’t scream the positivity that run-of-the-mill blockbusters often do. As main character Dwight (Macon Blair) eats food from rubbish bins and sleeps in his car, it’s clear that any hope and meaning left in life is lost. But when a policewoman approaches Dwight and reveals that something from the past is about to become the present, purpose in being appears to be restored. But as the plot unfolds, a pre-bedtime fairytale does not.

The problem with reviewing Blue Ruin, is that giving away too much, about anything, would completely spoil it for those yet to see it. Not knowing what’s going on is part of the film’s beauty. There’s a lack of dialogue between characters in the beginning of the film, and this really plays with the mind of the viewer as they try to work out what’s happening and why. The first piece of the puzzle is solved early on, shortly after the thought of ‘will he, won’t he?’ runs through viewers’ heads. After an extremely tense few minutes, when this part of the mystery is revealed, the vivid display of violence that appears on screen will make many re-think the purchase of snacks before entering the theatre.

Background music throughout the film is used strategically and places a strong emphasis on the drama taking place. Although this music is sorrowful at times, the closing song, where the lyrics describe the feeling of a regretless life, brings a positive twist to the story’s dark design while prompting viewers to consider all that has happened, and whether or not it’s been worth it. The backwards montage of key events before this song plays stresses the importance of this theme, while demonstrating how quickly life can take an unexpected turn.

The raw edge and hard hitting emotional energy that this film channels definitely make it worthy of its positive press critique thus far. And those planning to see it needn’t worry about finding the most comfortable chair in the venue – you’ll only be sitting on its edge for 92 minutes.

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