Jeremy Saulnier's Blue Ruin is one of the biggest surprise success stories of the 2014 season. And in spite of everyone's raging about the damn thing I didn't really care to catch it until just recently when I figured enough was enough... you know?
Blue Ruin is an epically simple concept blown up into a brooding, moody indie revenge film. I wouldn't even refer to it as a thriller really. It's practically a character study, but for the rather underdeveloped family feud/murder plot. Basically, a guy who's been living as a hobo for the last... eight years I think... discovers that the man responsible for his parents' death has just been let out of prison. So he sort of returns to his former life in hopes of seeking revenge. It's pretty much redneck killing redneck, with little more reason than the most basic of relationship issues.
The film lives and dies on its lead actor Macon Blair who does a pretty quality job in a rather strange role. The extent of his character's degradation is alarming and absolutely necessary for anything of value to come out of this movie. Yet he always manages to play off even the most peculiar of decisions with a level of sincerity and an incredibly awkward kindness. When I say that a revenge murderer seems to perform with kindness perhaps you can begin to understand the confusing but rather interesting nature of this casting decision. But as I was saying, it does work. And the cinematography is wonderful... so serious cred to Jeremy Saulnier for writing, directing, and filming this thing all himself.
If I had to give a thumbs up or down, I'd give Blue Ruin one up. But I still must admit, I'm pretty surprised that its managed to blow up like it has. It's such a small, miserable kind of film. Then again, I would probably recommend you stay home and watch this rather than go out and catch Taken 3 this weekend. So that's gotta mean something, right?