Feeling lost and disconnected, with no family of his own, veteran Sherman Oliver sets out to the countryside in search of the soldier who saved him back in the war. That man, Franklin Page,...
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Feeling lost and disconnected, with no family of his own, veteran Sherman Oliver sets out to the countryside in search of the soldier who saved him back in the war. That man, Franklin Page, has long since moved on - to a wife, two children, and a reliable job in a reliably safe and quiet rural town. Upon arriving, Sherman seems at first a harmless if awkward shell of a man. But as he inserts himself further into the Pages' life, he reveals himself to be an angry, unstable individual prone to great jealousy and deep resentment. The stability Franklin worked so hard to establish is soon threatened, and the violence he believed he'd left behind in the war begins to re-emerge and cloud over both the household and the town itself. Written by
I just caught this film at the Göteborg International Film Festival, with the director in attendance. Afterwards he stressed the fact that he's leery of making a political film - in short, it is just a story, based on a short story.
One has to wonder about Garret Dillahunt. Is he an actor who has mastered off-kilter to perfection or is he slightly crazy himself? Between his two roles (!) in Deadwood, his short appearance in The Road and now this film, I've never seen him play a normal or even nice guy. Anyway, he's great at what he does and makes the title character a both pathetic and awkwardly menacing figure. A disabled veteran, he moves in with a former soldier who once saved his life and sets about making his only friend's life complicated. The setting is somewhere in the States or Canada. The wife (Molly Parker, another Deadwood actor) pretty swiftly decides that he ought to move on. The lingering, nervous question is: will they get rid of him in time, before something bad happens.
I'll not tell. The film holds some surprises, though some of them can be spotted from afar. The purpose of the film is not to shock you with plot twists or even lay the groundwork for a thriller climax. It's an opportunity to mull over difficult dilemmas in the company of people who seem real. And, political or not, it obviously puts the spotlight on how war can destroy people, who are then expected to adjust to society nonetheless. It's a good film, though a bit of a downer.
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