Thursday, 14 May 2015
Big Game (5 Stars)
I expected this film to be good, but I was unprepared for what hit me in the cinema. From the very first minutes I knew I was watching something spectacular, and by the time the film ended I was convinced this was the best new film I've seen this year. The film's cinematography, the luscious music and even the film's name on the splash screen pompously tout the film as an epic, but it lives up to the promise. In fact, the film has an unmistakable retro feeling to it, like the big budget films of the 1950's and 1960's. When trying to compare it with other films the first film that comes to mind is "Ben Hur", a very different film but with a similar feeling to it.
The film combines two stories about two different people from two different worlds. Oskari is a boy from the north of Finland who has to go alone into the woods on his 13th birthday to prove that he is capable of being a hunter. He has a lot to live up to, because his father Tapio is his community's biggest hunter and caught a bear on his 13th birthday. William Moore (Samuel L. Jackson) is the President of the United States. While on route to a G8 conference in Helsinki Air Force One is shot down by terrorists. His guards all perish in the attack, and the only person able to protect him from terrorists hunting for him is Oskari.
The clash of the two worlds functions perfectly on screen. There are scenes that seem comical to me as a big city westerner, but people from Finland probably take it for granted. When the president arrives in Finland he assumes that everyone must recognise him, but nobody does. It's Finland, who cares who the American president is? The president begins the film strutting arrogantly as the most powerful man in the world, but once he accepts that he's become the least powerful man in Finland he learns humility. Even when he talks arrogantly Samuel L. Jackson seems somehow likeable. He would make a good president, better than the one the Americans have now.
My friends who went with me to the cinema all enjoyed the film, though they weren't as exuberant as me. I think it's incredible. It's the best film I've seen for a long time.