Sorcerer ★★★★

A rare American remake of a European film that's just as good as the original if not better, Sorcerer is a ruthless, restless & relentless thriller that finds director William Friedkin firing on all cylinders as he brings his version of The Wages of Fear to life with such unceasing intensity that it steers past the French classic on many occasions.

The story of Sorcerer follows four men from different backgrounds who are hiding from their pasts in the same South American village. Desperate to get out of their current predicament, they accept a highly dangerous job of transporting unstable nitroglycerine over a rocky mountain terrain where a slight bump could trigger an explosion.

Directed by William Friedkin (The French Connection & The Exorcist), the film begins with four brief snippets, each introducing our characters and narrating the events that made them flee their homes. Friedkin invests heavily in these people during the first half which makes their perilous journey far more harrowing in the next half where nearly every moment is an edge-of-the-seat stuff.

Pushing everything to the extreme, Friedkin employs the camera and utilises all the resources in ways that magnifies the tension considerably and leaves the audience gasping for breath. The characters are despicable yet human. Add to that, the unpredictable locations, terrifying set pieces & unexpected scenarios, all play a vital role in keeping things intense till the end.

Coming to the performances, Sorcerer packs a reliable cast in Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer, Francisco Rabal & Amidou in their respective roles of a gangster, crooked banker, hitman & Arab terrorist, and all four of them play their part responsibly. The difference in their backgrounds, their interactions & frictions with each other and all working together to survive, it only adds to the whole experience in the end.

On an overall scale, Sorcerer is amongst the most tense, taut & thrilling films ever made and delivers a disquieting experience that's as unsettling as it is unforgettable. A nerve-wracking exercise in tension & suspense that undeniably deserves a spot amongst the finest remakes ever made, Sorcerer is one of the best films of its year, one of the finest works of its decade, and a timeless classic that's as gripping today as it was at its time of release. Highly recommended.

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