Top positive review
Human tragedy at its finest with the glimpse of hope
on October 20, 2015
Burning plain is the story of Sylvia who, despite being a successful restaurant owner, cannot find peace and tranquility in her personal life. In the beginning we see her engaging in alcohol driven promiscuous sex as the story unfolds from different perspectives and on several timelines. All characters seem to be living in emotional pain. Especially Theron and Basinger act superbly mainly through facial expression and body language. Although the story is not new--under-appreciated housewife and cancer survivor meets compassionate man and starts a secretive affair--,the unfolding of the story fractured by different timelines and perspectives adds an interesting twist that keeps the viewer engaged. The feelings, the pain, are palpable throughout the movie and pull the viewer into the sad story. I disagree with some comments that the film sympathizes with the poor Mexicans and portrays the white family as evil. The reactions of both families seem fairly realistic. Both are prejudiced against the other group but they deal with the tragedy in a different fashion. Each family blames the other party and expresses hostility, especially when the young people are found out to be lovers. Burning Plain is so great because it shows that the impulsive action of one person (Mariana) has lifelong catastrophic consequences from which none can really recover. Despite its depressing nature, the end of the film gives the viewer a ray of hope and the possibility of healing for a woman's deeply painful past.