The film titled Hostiles has taken the entertainment industry by storm. The attention to detail, direction, and cinematography are outstanding. For many, it draws its inspiration and has shadows of reflections from John Ford’s movie entitled, “The Searchers”. “It seeks to depict the bitter and violent hostility and hatred that was at the core of the Native Americans and settlers’ relationship,” said Scott Cooper Miami Beach. It unfortunately also extended to the soldiers and those in authority that sought to invade the land that was once roamed freely on by the Natives.
Scott Cooper Miami Beach Reviews Hostiles Starting Scene
Directed by Scott Cooper Miami Beach, Hostiles opens with quite an emotion thrilling scene. The script has been based on a manuscript by Donald E. Stewart and it is set in 1892 in New Mexico where a family of homesteaders has settled towards the west. It is a small and closely-knit family, parents and three children to be specific. The turn of events comes with the arrival of the Comanche warriors – a dominant Native American tribe that resided in the Great Plains late 18th and early 19th centuries.
As the father tries to defend his family by grabbing a rifle, the Comanche tribe doesn’t spare him, scalping him first. They set fire to the ranch and go after the children, killing all three of them. The only family member to survive is the mother, played by Rosamund Pike, who finds solace by hiding in the woods.
In this regard, Scot Cooper’s film takes on a more revisionist form such as that of Robert Aldrich’s, “Ulzana’s Raid”. Other films such as “The Ballad of Lefty Brown”, directed by Jared Mosche, have a more classic touch compared to the former. Scot has gone a few steps further by picking and integrating the right mix of cinematography (produced by Masanobu Takayanagi) and getting on board the ideal and most versatile actors in the industry. From Christian Bale taking the lead to Wes Studi, Rosamund Pike, Scott Wilson, Ben Foster, Timothee Chalamet, and Q’orianka Kilcher, all have performed exceptionally well in their respective roles.
Christian Bale, who plays the role of Captain Joseph Blocker is given the task of returning the Cheyenne chief Yellow Hawk, played by Wes Studi, back to his native homeland. The fort where he is to start his journey from is where the Chief has been imprisoned for 7 years and now seeks to take his last few breaths on his tribal land in Montana. This change of events is owing to the end of the native resistance to the white settlers and the progressive policies adopted by Washington.
At first, Captain Blocker is unwilling to escort the Yellow Hawk and his family to Montana. He would rather have himself be court-martialed than take on the long and tedious journey. This shows how the deeply rooted sentiments of the settlers towards the Native Americans have not entirely been eliminated yet. Captain Blocker has also had a history of fighting the Native Americans, thus these preconceived notions and stereotypes of finding them vicious and violent have strengthened over the years. This is why he demeans and treats the Yellow Hawk with disrespect on the journey to Montana. He keeps him tied up in chains.
It isn’t long before they reach the ranch where the devastating attack on the homestead family had taken place. The wife, namely Mrs. Quaid, who had survived this incident is found by the troops. In bad shape and traumatized by the brutal killing of her family, the burial puts everyone in an upsetting mood. This is when Captain Blocker and his party realize that the Comanche’s are still actively present in the area and seeking to further their agenda.
Here the first part of the movie comes to a completion. From then on the party arrives at a fort where it is decided that Mrs. Quaid is to be escorted by the team as well. Here another addition to the tasks unfolds. It is the taking of an accused soldier to a town where he is to be tried for murder. For many critics, this addition has been seen as a digression from the real concept of the story. It has been declared ad unnecessary and not needed in the progression of the film.
As the film reaches towards the end, we see Captain Blocker taking on an entirely different approach towards the native Americans. He seeks to grant the natives their rights and help honor their way of life. Thus reflecting on how truly understating and spending time with people from different cultures and norms can help in eliminating ethnocentrism.
On the other hand, critics have also highlighted the role of the chief as being minimal and often overshadowed by the rest. Though it is beautifully directed and shot, the overlong and extended parts could have been omitted. It also missed out on the genocides committed against the Native Americans and focused more on white man’s redemption.
Scott Cooper Miami Beach Wrapping It Up
If you haven’t watched Hostiles, you’re missing out! The action, storyline, and smooth progression are sure to have you engrossed in the film till the very end. It is also a gentle reminder of the fight put up by the Native Americans for the preservation of their land, culture, traditions, and way of living.
Thus, this historical aspect of how we have reached where we are today cannot be overlooked or ignored. It is a true reflection of the injustices that prevail in society and how those that are not equipped with fairly distributed resources needed to survive to face the real hardships and struggles in life.