Wind River is the newest film from Taylor Sheridan and stars Jeremy Renner who plays a game hunter on an Indian Reservation called Wind River. During one of his jobs, Renner comes across the body of a young Native American girl. When an FBI agent, played by Elizabeth Olsen, comes to investigate the murder, our two main characters must team up to solve this crime.
Wind River is, to put it simply, mesmerizing. From every detail, from every angle, this film tears at your heart and mind. The characters are layered, not only in dealing with their current situation, but the memories of their past. Renner does a phenomenal job portraying his character as a man who is haunted by his inner demons. A character’s quietness, if not done properly, can cause a film’s character, such as Renner’s, to be taken as a stale performance instead of representing someone who is fighting with his past. However, this is not my perception of Renner’s performance.
This is by far my favorite performance of Renner’s. He’s exceptional in portraying this game hunter, not only through his depression, but in his skills that end up helping this investigation. Olsen, who plays the FBI agent, also does a fantastic job. Her character is very much a fish out of water as she arrives at the reservation. There’s one moment when she is first introduced on screen, and we see how she doesn’t even come in the right gear to go looking for clues in the blistering cold weather. However, though her confidence as an agent is lacking in some pivotal moments, she is anything but weak. There are critical scenes, especially one important scene towards the end, when she must have a strong presence, and she does so. But because the murder takes place on an Indian Reservation, the lack of government help is hard to come by, which leads to other issues regarding Native Americans. This film gives us only a glimpse at the chilling facts surrounding the rules in which Native American’s live by.
But a film as good as this one could not be done without Sheridan’s directing and artistic writing. Sheridan has proved to audiences everywhere that he can put together a fantastic narrative, not only with this film, but with Sicario and Hell or High Water. However, Wind River marks his chance to be at the helm of a rather large picture. His direction could have gone either way. And seeing how we’ve seen screenwriters, who were less successful, in his position before, I commend Sheridan for successfully making a thought provoking thriller.
It’s easy to say that Scarlet Witch and Hawkeye team up to solve a crime in the snowy climate of Wyoming, but it really isn’t that at all. This is a film that you won’t want to miss this season. Though you might come for the actors, Wind River is a film that will shake you to your very core.
Written and Directed by: Taylor Sheridan
Starring: Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen