Land, the debut directorial venture of Robin Wright pulls your attention towards a phenomenon that I think is happening with the human species in general. The need to rely upon outward forces to heal oneself from inside. When we want to feel inspired we listen to upbeat music or watch motivational videos. When we are feeling low then we go out to eat with friends, socialize and try to forget what our core is actually dealing with. But these outward solutions generally fail us miserably at times. As soon as the music stops there is a deafening silence, which we are unable to deal with. We try to run away as far as we can. We try to close our eyes and expect that the world also isn’t watching us.
We see Edee (Robin Wright) packing her bags hastily and going to a cabin located amidst the wilderness somewhere in the Canadian Rockies. We realize over a period of time that she is running from her own past but what exactly it is we do not come to know until the last few minutes of the film.
She wants to be secluded as something from her past is haunting her. She resorts to a frugal life which proves to be a death wish. She isn’t able to cope up in the harsh terrain and just when all seems lost Miguel (Demian Bichir) arrives at the scene and saves her from the fatal blow of nature. He knows the area well and helps her to learn the tricks of survival. They develop an unlikely bond. It is their pain that makes the companionship relatable. They understand each other’s plight. They do not utter a word about any past occurrences but they seem to still grasp it all.
On one of his visits, Miguel tells Edee that this time he would be gone for long and asks her if she could keep his dog for the time being. There is a sense that things are not going to end well. But then it’s just a perspective and hope can be found even in the darkest of moments.
A Frugal Existence
Land is not about twists and turns. You might predict the whole narrative in the first 15 minutes of the film only. It might also be found to be erratic and irrational by a few. But then isn’t life like that. There are times when moments of prudence cease to exists and that’s exactly where all the magic happens.
What Robin Wright has been extremely successful in doing in her debut venture is that she has worked on the foundation of the story i.e the characterization. The arc which Edee follows is relatable. Even the character of Miguel is dealt with sincerity. No matter how irrational Edee’s choices might seem, they are possible. In bits and pieces, the film does feel like a compilation of raw footage but for me, it only increased the mysticism and nothing else.
Robin Wright is exceptional as always in the character of Edee. The deadly position of being the protagonist and also directing the film has been dealt with a kind of balance that is often quite rare to find.
Nature has this rare habit of stopping the commotion inside any human being. You go to the mountains, live a frugal life, and come back as a changed man. You pay more attention to details that though always existed but never came to our notice. Your perspective of seeing things changes. In the end, it is merely a game of perspectives. Similar situations can evoke different reactions and emotions in two people. But the fact remains that your solace should not need any kind of worldly prosthetics to stay afoot.
Land is a 2021 film directed by Robin Wright. The film is available for Video on Demand.
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