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The Burning Plain
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Top Customer Reviews
Be warned, this (107 min) R-rated, romantic, mystery/drama, will not be for everyone. It is not action driven, aside from some self-mutilating behaviors, sensual scenes with nudity, and a trailer blowing up. It is not filled with gratuitous violence, awesome CGI, or other big-box-office, draw themes, although the filming is lovely. Instead, it is a slow paced, deep character study involving three wounded female leads, Theron being the primary protagonist. It is about an illicit love affair(Basinger) and the dark web surrounding omissions of truth---the escalating lies. It is about the irrevocable psychic damage that can be done, when youth is the witness to adults breaking the rules and threatening their security. It is about an ego destroyed and on the path of self destruction. It is about stopping cutting, just to feel alive, and opening up for love and forgiveness. It is about redemption.
I loved the psychological dynamics of this movie and thought they were well developed.Read more ›
I enjoyed the movie's flashbacks. Kept me on my toes. I UNDERSTOOD so much of the story plot. Human frailties, so raw, so exposed. The need to fill up the avoidable guilt-ridden void brought on by the inability to refuse, to just say no, to turn the other cheek, to just accept without questioning.
Watch the movie, The Burning Plain.
(Superb acting, exceptional cinematography...btw.)
It's one of those multi-stranded stories Arriaga specialises in... except this time, it is not always different characters we are observing - it's the same ones, in different times. One strand with Kim Basinger, involves a married woman, sneaking off from her empty marriage at lunchtime to her lover, in a trailer on a plain. It's this trailer on fire which gives the film its title. Then, there is the teenage daughter who has her own secrets and is drawn to the young Mexican man who she meets at his father's funeral. Finally, Charlize Theron plays the beautiful restaurateur, who away from the style and poise of her role at work, seeks empty sex and self inflicted wounds.. what pain is she trying to hide? Does the answer lie in the Mexican man who follows her? If the strands don't stand fully composed as short stories in their own right, it's because they rely on each other.. so that the performance of one actress relies on notes set up by another. It's a typically convoluted piece of writing by Arriega. A final point, and this is where critics were on the whole less than kind, is that for much of the movie it is frustratingly ambiguous who is who and in what time, until gradually the picture becomes clear. It's a tangled story for the most part, and if you dislike activating your brain cells, then steer clear. In the end, the story is actually quite slight..Read more ›
The film's approach to telling its story is interesting and maybe a bit confusing at first. A large part of the story plays in the past (underscored by those scenes having been filmed with a slight yellow tint, as if looking at aging home video), and the movie jumps frequently between the past and the present as well as between locations. But once the viewer has figured it out, it is easy to follow the individual threads.
If I have one complaint it is that the ending is a bit too feel-good. I simply doubt that a person with Sylvia's past and habits could in the end succeed at successfully turning the page for good. While the movie doesn't explicitly spell it out, this is what the last scene implies. But maybe this was intentionally done by the director, exactly to make the audience wonder about the outcome of it all in the end.
Be that as it may, all in all I really enjoyed this movie and the entire cast's stellar performances.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Guillermo Arriago knows how to weave together different events, times and characters in a skilfully orchestrated fashion. Read morePublished 16 days ago by GEORGE HOHBACH
This was my second time watching this movie and this time i understood the movie and that's the reason i give it a 5 start. Read morePublished 4 months ago by penni
A very eccentric contemporary film with several subplots that eventually come together. It can be confusing so requires full attention. Read morePublished 4 months ago by HistoryNut
If you like psychologically nuanced portraits of strong characters, and enjoy using your powers of observation to piece their stories together, then don't miss this movie. Read morePublished 6 months ago by pickypicky