Beautiful and resilient|
by Rama Tampubolon, published on July 2, 2016 - 4:19 PM
From writer/director Patricia Rozema, and based Jean Hegland’s novel, Into the Forest is, to me, the most riveting and beautifully-shot apocalyptic survival film since 2009’s “The Road” which I was a huge fan of mainly because the John Hillcoat-directed film stayed faithful, for the most part, to my favorite Cormac McCarthy book. You can’t help admiring the resilience of Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood in Into the Forest.
Into the Forest is about a father and his two daughter who live out in the Pacific Northwest woods and often times they go to the nearest small town for supply. And then one day, their lives get disrupted by a continent-wide blackout. They go to town and find that either everybody’s leaving or they’re busy hogging all the supplies. But as a family, they try to cope with the situation as best they can but it gets more and more difficult as time goes on. When tragedy strikes, the sisters now have to work together in order to survive the new dangerous world.
The story is mostly set in this one place, one big house of theirs in the middle of nowhere, and that itself provides vulnerability on top of the fact that these are just two girls fending for themselves. So the film gives a thousand and one reasons for us the audiences to feel extremely concerned for the safety of these characters. Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood are convincing as sisters. Page’s character is the one that tries to keep things together and tries to ration and save whatever is left, whereas Wood’s character is the one who gets emotionally hit the hardest and has a difficult time going through a tragedy. But as time goes on and you see their arc going into full on survival mode, they start to disagree less and less.
And just like the characters themselves, Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood, I think, did a good job of supporting each other quite well, the give and take between them is evident and generous. They are just absolutely talented young actresses. There are times when the film lags a bit but that’s mostly because it just wants to show you a series of the conditions in which the characters are living, like how they use the toilet when there’s no toilet paper or when they can use their emergency generator and what they do when it’s on, but throughout the entire film you can sense the biggest dilemma in the room and that is should they stay or should they leave. And so their decision to use up everything they could from that house, from the woods, from that place until it has nothing left to give them, to see how the sisters wise themselves up and become a team, that’s what makes Into the Forest a compelling drama.
Overall rating: 4.1 (out of 5.0)
Story: 4.5 (out of 5.0)
Performances: 4.5 (out of 5.0)
VFX: 3.0 (out of 5.0)
Music Score: 4.0 (out of 5.0)
Cinematography: 4.5 (out of 5.0)