“Just ’cause my dad loved your mom… we all end up dead,” said Dwight.
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A homeless man flees from a random house, through the window, hasty and naked in the beginning of Blue Ruin—a filthy American thriller about a shocking series of revenge. It turns out the homeless man is Dwight (Macon Blair), a man on a run; he’s becoming more uneasy, anxious, and troubled knowing a news that the man who killed his family is going to be released from jail. Consumed by the idea of revenge and protecting his lone sister, Dwight faces out The Clelands, a bunch of rednecks… seeking for other vengeance.
Blue Ruin consistently keeps the tight suspense during the whole 90 minutes, wrapped in a cat-and-mouse romps between Dwight and The Clelands. The thing is, Dwight is not a flamboyant savage who can revenge mercilessly—he’s just an amateur, a wrong man in a wrong situation. I don’t know how and why, but I feel so connected to this awry man—he doesn’t know how to act properly in such a dire situation; because he’s just a normal man, not prepared to kill or be killed. Dwight is clumsy—he doesn’t even know how to unlock a gun that he breaks instead; when he’s got shot with arrow, he doesn’t know how to ‘operate’ himself, he buy pliers and saw; even he misses shooting an unarmed man from a ridiculously short distance—Dwight is driven by ‘authentic’ instinct, and therefore, this is the most suspenseful film with bumbling protagonist.
Jeremy Saulnier, with his low-key cinematography and action-driven plot, surprisingly puts red highlight on the aftermath of each action to the characters—the victims, the doers, or everyone around. Saulnier balances the action-revenge adrenaline with psychological torture upon the observation of remorse and anxiety that crawl upon our characters’ skins. When the story finally reveals what behind the revenge (or, more accurately, reveals who hunts who), we know there’s something ‘bitter’ Saulnier planted deep in the movie.
Enticing, poignant, but funny—Blue Ruin is an exhilarating revenge thriller that has extravagant shades of black comedy. It’s a dark character study turning into a brutal ‘survival’ study from a perspective of common man in awry situation.
Blue Ruin (2014)
Thriller Written & Directed by: Jeremy Saulnier Starred by: Macon Blair, Devin Ratray, Amy Hargreaves Running Time: 90 mins Rated R for strong bloody violence, and language