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Across a desert, two men and a mysterious woman make a mysterious journey. I'm not sure why. Explanations in this film are hard to come by. And the dialogue doesn't help. In one sequence one of the men inquires about a man whom the travelers come across just sitting on the ground in the desert: "Who is he?" Response: "Ask her". "You know him?" No response. "What does she mean to you?" Response: "She likes me". "You know anything about her?" Response: "Ask her".
I don't recall a film wherein the dialogue was so ... evasive. It's not like the film contains some profound message that requires great insight to dig up. Rather, the story comes across as simply having no point. The two men and the woman have no real back-story. Characters are not well developed. From the film's start to its finish, I kept wondering: who are these people, what are their motivations, what do they hope to accomplish? I never arrived at a satisfactory answer to any of these questions.
If the story is pointless, the desert scenery is hauntingly beautiful, especially toward the end. And the film's cinematography does a nice job of showing visual perspective, with tiny human figures set against huge, barren mountains.
The film's acting is acceptable, although Will Hutchins does a really fine job in his performance. Millie Perkins is miscast. With her little girl face, she is totally not convincing as a hardened female gunslinger.
"The Shooting" is a slow moving, low-key Western with some great visuals and a fine performance by Will Hutchins. But the story is pointless. It's the cinematic equivalent of a book wherein every other page is missing.
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