𝑤𝑎𝑑𝑒𝑠𝑡𝑒𝑟’s review published on Letterboxd:
“Life is for the strong. It is earned not given.”
straight out the gate: the cinematography in this is surreal and I’ll be highly disappointed if it’s not nominated (or doesn’t win) an oscar. Each breathtaking frame reminded me of a figurative art painting style. Transitioning weaves each scene together into a masterpiece of realism through naturalism of space and landscapes. Honestly most technical merits within the film hits every note. Costumes, make-up, superb direction, backdrops etc. it all conveyed a sense that you were experiencing an adventure through a primitive europe 20,000 years ago.
emotionally I was pulled in to the tale of Keda and his unlikely alliance with a wild wolf Alpha. I love films that focus on bonds between man and nature, plus the art of survival against the odds. Yes it’s been done a lot in cinema and mostly a cliched genre. But what I really got engaged to this was it was a fresh face in a year of cgi blockbusters. This was a quiet pounce upon its prey: me. I was so happy they didn’t make Keda a whiny kid who had to force us to like him because of main character armor. He was very relatable and knew his predicament was do or die. Also what I was transcended by was that it didn’t jump straight into the journey. It made room for character and tribe development. It’s lack of dialogue is made up with vibrant visual storytelling which is obviously the most powerful direction imo. This movie is about bond. I got sequence of chills watching this...it could of been the AC blasting in the room or it could of have been the emotional journey I witnessed with impressive acting from Kodi-Smit Mcphee. This film has a tough beautiful heart.
It did have some badly rendered cgi at points and doesn’t really explain or show most situations Keda gets in either edits away or completely ignores it. And bare bones it’s a straight A to B plot. But it didn’t affect me as much after witnessing the heartwarming end and the bonding journey between two forsakened souls finding their way back home.