Wind River is a gut-wrenching tale that takes you on a journey to solve a murder while also exploring the heartbreaking reality of the modern day world of native Americans. This movie left me with a heavy heart, but I really enjoyed my experience. I hope this film generates buzz during the awards season because this story should be recognized.
Kelsey Asbille = Natalie
Jeremy Renner = Cory Lambert
Elizabeth Olsen = Jane Banner
Natalie, an 18 year old Native American girl, was discovered dead on an Indian reservation. Cory Lambert, a game tracker, discovered her body deep in the mountains and called the authorities. Federal Agent, Jane Banner, was the closest agent to the crime and therefore was first responder. Jane and Cory team up with the reservation police to solve the case and bring justice.
- Elizabeth Olsen
Jane Banner is trying to investigate the murder of Natalie while quickly realizing she is completely out of her element. The murder mystery is at the core, but wrapped around it is the culture shock Jane experiences.
The Wind River residents’ ancestors were cast out to this land that stretches hundreds of miles and there is nothing but snow, cold, and silence. Jane has no understanding of the hostile environment she finds herself in. She comes in very confident and bold, but Jane is humbled through interactions with the locals and her hard shell is broken down.
Olsen did a great job of embodying this strong independent woman who is very skilled and intelligent. However, as she comes to unravel the case she is eventually broken by Natalie’s tale.
- Two white leads
Renner and Olsen are great actors and I’m happy they signed on to help tell this story, because Wind River would not have gotten as much attention if they weren’t in it. However, since this film has such a social awareness undertone, I found it a little odd the story was told through the eyes of two white main leads. I don’t see why Cory Lambert couldn’t have been native American. None-the-less, this critique didn’t hurt my experience with this film.
Wind River is a slow build with high tension sequences that will leave you satisfied. I recommend it to the patient movie goers. I do advise that you check the “Parent’s Guide” on IMDB.com before watching because there is a disturbing scene. I rate this an 8.3/10.