Above avererage feel good movie that could have been better.
, 27 Nov 2011
I liked the movie. Yes, it could have been better, the story was a little too neat and tidy, but the idea was great and I felt that once we stepped through the cave the film really picked up and became a joy to watch. I would have liked to see more sub-plots develop at that point to get a better and more realistic kind of background of how life amongst they Cheyennes would have been like.
I was a bit disappointed when from the point when Lewis offered his help to get Penicillin for a wounded native and caused that massive unnecessary and quite unrealistic stir that brought the troopers going after him and the Indians. It was clumsy and felt like the writer was running out of ideas how to proceed with the story and bring some 'required' action into it.
Apart from that I really did enjoy the movie, a lot more than I expected. I also liked that no attempt was made to translate when the natives spoke (except through Lillian when she interpreted for Lewis). I find it always very silly when natives start speaking in their native tongue and then suddenly slip into English for the viewers benefit.
I read the 'critic's' review and found his way of saying that the portrayal of the Native American was 'keen to avoid any negative stereotyping that the Cheyenne are reduced to benign, mystical, eco-friendly ciphers whose all-round good-eggness undercuts any tension in the narrative set-up'. What exactly is he (or her) meaning by that? First I didn't leave with the impression that the natives were stereotyped at all but very much like we see them in many documentaries even of natives in our times, like the Amazonas. Second, what does it mean to be 'reduced' into something 'benign, mystical' and 'ego-friendly'? Reduced from what?
Yes, I agree that they it would have been a much better movie had it focused more on life amongst the Cheyenne with it's good and bad points and also to see more the problems such a life in secret would bring. For example with having to live in a constrained place there must be a lot of hygiene problems like many natives suffer today because they are not allowed anymore to freely move around as they used to (where do you do your business, you can't just leave camp and erect another one further away when it begins to stink(what nature used to do requires today plumbing and sanitary facilities).
A tribe that survives in secret raises a lot of interesting questions which, had the movie attempted to answer some, would have made it into a much better movie. Still, an enjoyable movie and great family entertainment with some good points for thought.
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