Ce film, presented in a session of midnight at the Cannes film Festival, looked the best : Mads Mikkelsen, actor, oh, so charismatic, always aware, regardless of his role, his place in the middle of a script. One of those, who, like Matthew McConaughey, is as important as a director or as a director of photography, when it comes to examine the quality of a film. A huge performer.
Also, Eva Green, actress quite charming, whose presence may provide a supplement of soul, if it is well exploited.
Then, a session of midnight often means genre film, here western. Still a promise, that of a little breath of fresh air to superimpose the classicism of the overall official selection.
The few images circulating before the screening suggested that a film is visually polished, the synopsis making the beautiful part in the violence, the cruelty, the dryness of the human soul.
And then finally, by his mere presence in the official selection of the out-of-competition, it was entitled to expect under the heavy.
What a disappointment ! THE SALVATION has nothing of the masterpiece.
It is a film without depth, starting from a scenario that promised to explore themes of redemption through revenge, to examine a certain cruelty of men, without laws, without landmarks.
Even if it’s not very original, the dryness of the subject would have been a movie if not fort, at least entertaining, like the recent SHERIF JACKSON.
And well not. The script is just a display of clichés, associated with it, without passion nor talent. The scenario chooses to stretch some of the scenes, the ones meant to be striking, and decide on the fate of the characters, as if to reinforce the importance of the actions that will follow.
This gives a rhythm disgusting is more of a torture film. The violence, prudish but raw, would have been able to provide a little bit of interest in the whole, this is not the case, as this violence is drowning in an illustration too supported.
The actors are under-employed : Eva Green, dumb, tries to convey emotions in her eyes, but seems to be the constant victim of a “cut” fatal guillotine of any communication sensory. A shame for a mute character !
Mads Mikkelsen, who usually enhances the quality of a film only by its presence, here, does not transmit anything other than a dumb anti-charismatic.
The rest of the cast navigates between caricature and histrionics, or simply not enough time for the image to prove anything.
“THE SALVATION film is a little more digestible than a vulgar Direct-to-DVD, a film without any artistic ambition. A mess total.”
Side artistic direction, several things are immediately apparent.
The sets are ambitious and perform almost to convey an atmosphere, a framework. Almost, because the achievement that is worthy of a telefilm French, while framing supported or simply disorganized, comes to reduce to ashes the effort of the decorators and actors.
And then, in seeking the formal beauty in the excess of filter, between american night photoshopée, and yellow dirty supposed to represent the heat of the american west, Kristian Levring getting a result that stings, rather the eyes by its ugliness.
As for the music of the film, from the first notes, one understands. The score is almost identical to the partitions of the classical recent, but dating all the same of 20 years ago, RUTHLESS Eastwood, or DANCES WITH WOLVES for Costner. These guitars and these banjos mixed in with the symphonic compositions…
The sound illustration of a bad movie is made by using the collective unconscious. That only increases the sense of parody. Kristian Levring, moreover, does not even bother to disguise his influences, which gives it a look immediately dated and plagiarist.
At the top of the error list, art, band his throne, even makes the film all the more nanardesque that he has absolutely no second degree.
The addition of all these defects give a film much more digestible than a vulgar Direct to DVD (this kind of movie funded only for the purpose of commercially exploiting a name, a license).
THE SALVATION could be summed up in a vignette and opportunistic, no talent, that we demand the reason of his presence in a festival that is so prestigious as Cannes.
Whether they like it or not the films in the selection, they prophesy all of a certain talent, a certain ambition, formal, intellectual, technical, etc
And THE SALVATION has definitely not.
• Production : Kristian Levring
• Screenplay : Anders Thomas Jensen, Kristian Levring
• Main actors : Mads Mikkelsen, Eva Green, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Eric Cantona,
• Country of origin : Denmark
• Released : 05 November 2014
• Duration : 1h40mn
• Distributor : jour de Fête / Chrysalis Films
• Synopsis :Jon, a pioneer of Danish sees his family get murdered before his eyes, and takes revenge. but his actions will have other consequences that will require they also, revenge…