Unforgiven Retro Talk; The Return of the Movie Theaters is Here B A B Y! Grade: B+
Welcome to a special edition of Retro Talk! This Retro Talk is indeed special, because this is the first film I’ve watched in a theater in over FIVE MONTHS!!! Returning to the theater is just what the doctor ordered, happiest I’ve been in months. Do go out and support your local theaters if open at this time, they need our support more than ever, as we need to continue the beloved tradition of the theatrical experience. If there’s one thing Covid-19 has taught us well, is life is completely pointless without Movie Theaters. A place in which you can not only maintain a stable mental health, but a place where one needs to escape reality for two hours, reminding itself being alive isn’t as bad as it seems... Support the Theaters. The first film I’ve watched returning to the theaters, is Clint Eastwood’s 1992 Western Unforgiven.
Unforgiven went on to be nominated for Nine Oscars and won Four of them, including Best Supporting Actor, Best Director, and even Best Picture. It had a budget of 14.4 million, as went on to make 159.2 million dollars, profiting at 134.8 million... Great numbers indeed. I’ve always been curious about this Oscar winning film, it even was available to stream on HBO Max. But I figure since this film was playing at my local cinema at a low price, might as well experience it for the first time where it should be experience none other than the theater.
Unforgiven tells a story of a man named Bill Munny (Clint Eastwood), whom recently lost his wife, as he has a very troubled past. Out in a small town, a woman named Delilah (Anna Thomson) gets mauled by a couple of men while on the job, whom literally ruin this woman’s face. The consequences for the men’s cruel actions?! Bringing back horses to the owner of this establishment, as the men do it with ease, as the leader of this town Little Bill (Gene Hackman) let’s these men go without the needed punishment they deserve. Bill gets acquainted with The Schofield Kid (Jaimz Woolvett), who offers him a job to take out the men who did horrific things to Delilah. Bill takes on this one last job, but agrees only if his beloved partner Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman) comes along, as The Schofield Kid allows it. Does Bill Munny has enough in the tank, in order to accomplish this one last job? Will justice be served for Delilah.
You know I don’t watch much of Clint Eastwood’s older films, as Unforgiven brings me a refreshing reminder I NEED to do so. The Cinematography t’was very delightful, as it compliments the dark and gritty tone of this film. The sets kept it very simple, as far as the town, bar, and of course the nature rocky top shots were extremely satisfying to witness. The Score was solid as well, I enjoyed the theme song that comes in and out, a very lovely tune indeed. The cast all in all was tremendous as a whole. Clint Eastwood playing Bill Munny was awesome in this film, giving us a raw devastating yet rewarding display of acting. Bill Munny is an extremely well written character, as you can feel the complete sorrow of this troubled man, as this final last job felt he would redeem the crimes he has done in the past. Where Bill could’ve just denied this offer, as he spends the rest of his days with his kids, he instead takes on the offer not solely on money, but solely to receive justice for this good woman who didn’t deserve to be treated as poorly as she did.
Little Bill played by Gene Hackman was freaking great, I can honestly understand why he was rewarded an Oscar. As far as antagonist this man was extremely terrifying to watch, as he abused his power, where it should’ve been a role of honor. Little Bill takes on advantages over those who try to take him down, as he enables a law that no one in this town unless Little Bill and his crew can carry a firearm. I can understand the significance of the second amendment, as why many people in this country cherish their right to bear arms. Little Bill basically was able to do whatever he wishes, as he carries the weapon while others can’t defend themselves in any way or seek justice as well. Morgan Freeman playing Ned Logan played a pretty damn good performance, a very classical Morgan Freeman performance. Ned was honestly fitting side kick, as he had swagger, as he was calm, cool, collective towards this job. Also enjoyed performances from Jaimz Woolvett, Frances Fisher, Richard Harris, and Saul Rubinek.
One of the main flaws, is the film doesn’t necessarily show just how Ned got caught by Little Bill?! Would’ve like to see just how they found Ned, as it just appears to be. I gotta tell ya, I couldn’t pick a much better option to return to the theaters, than choosing a film like Unforgiven... This was BAD ASS!
When it comes to Westerns, Unforgiven stands out from the rest. While Westerns tend to be fast paced, with lots of action and shoot outs, Unforgiven is a film that is steadily paced as it takes it’s time. One would to argue this film pacing is slow which I agree, however I counter with the fact the pacing just moves smoothly. It compliments the gritty and dark tone of this film, as elements begin to develop, felt rewarding with a lovely pay offs. This is honestly a well written story, that is more than just a few Cowboys seeking justice. It can also be seen as a character study as well with Bill Munny. It’s an extremely well developed character arc, that makes the audience understand the vulnerability behind this character, as well as we root for triumph. Some of the dark gritty moments were impressive, as some moments in this film caught me completely off guard towards it’s vile imagery, especially in third act. Though there is not a whole lot of excitement and adventure, it however delivers in it’s final epic conclusion, as Bill delivers a kick ass final punch. Pretty much everything works well with Unforgiven, regarding visuals, editing, music, the cast, the characters, the story... Just a well made Western from start to finish.
Overall, Unforgiven is a great film, as it’s no surprise why this is considered a timeless classic. I highly recommend checking this one out if you haven’t, for those living in the Vegas area the final showing of this film is today as it can be seen at Regal Village Square, Regal Colonnade, and Regal Aliante. It’s great to be back in the theaters B A B Y, I’ll be checking out some 2020 theatrical releases, so look forward to those reviews very soon... LET’S GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! -Mitch Smietana