katrinaolson.ca - KO Review of Night Moves

Posted on Sunday, September 07, 2014 at 10:00 PM

Movie: Night Moves

KO Review of Night Moves

by Katrina Olson-Mottahed x CalgaryMovies.com

Night Moves is a film about three extreme ecoterrorists: Josh (Jesse Eisenberg), Dena (Dakota Fanning) and Harmon (Peter Sarsgaard) who plot together to blow up a hydro-electric dam in Oregon, USA.

Written and directed by Kelly Reichardt, Night Moves is a thriller about three acquaintance with one common goal, ”Make people think about how they power their iPods”. This film is heavily stylized, the characters only wear muddy greens, greys, or navy the entire film. The outdoor scenes were overcast and dreary, with the greens looking very green but every other color looking slightly washed out. The three main characters looked like they never showered, had greasy hair, dark circles around their eyes, and little to know emotion. There is a scene early in the film when the audience is introduced to Josh and Dena driving in a truck, they see a hit pregnant deer at the side of the road. Josh pulls the truck over, gets out, feels the doe’s stomach. He tells Dena the doe is warm and the baby deer is still alive inside her. Dena nonshalauntly steps out of the car to see. Then Josh pushes the does down the hill, and drives away. That scene just didn’t sit well.

The character development was non-existent in the film, the audience learns little about any of the three characters which creates tension in itself for the audience. The viewer is forced to sit there for a lot of stiff silence with hints of subtle background nature sounds. The kind of noises a sound machine would create for sleeping. But all the while you are looking at the uncomfortable faces of the three characters in a dialogue style of editing cuts back and forth to their blank expressionless faces. We learn a few things, Josh works and lives at an organic co-op farm in a rural area traveling distance from Portland. Dena is a rich kid, who funds the operation and is used as the wolf in sheep’s clothing to buy supplies they need to create the bomb. Harmon is an ex-US marine officer turned ecoterrorists who once served time in prison. It is alluded that Dena and Harmon have sexual relations in a trailer before the operation takes place (because we hear sounds), but they act like strangers during the day and are just as awkward as previous days, so they may not have? It’s still a mystery.

Night Moves' underbelly, is a bizarre love triangle between three social rejects who carry out an act of ecoterrorism. Maybe it is the week of time it took to digest this film that has led to this conclusion. No matter what film Jesse Eisenberg is in, whether it is The Social Network or To Rome With Love, he is the same awkward guy. In Night Moves, it is creepy awkward, rather than geek awkward or romantically awkward. Nonetheless the common denominator is just awkward. Dakota Fanning’s character constantly tries to lighten the mood with sarcastic remarks but they seem unsuccessfully received by the other characters. Peter Sarsgaard, is just a different level of actor to Dakota and Jessie and although he fit the role he played as Harmon well, it just felt like the other two have type cast themselves so deeply into the Hollywood blockbuster film circuit, it was difficult to really get into them as characters in this film.

The thriller music that was in the last quarter of the film seemed dated and not fitting for the tranquil environment the story took place in. The same goes for the name of the boat they conduct their terrorism in, which is also the title of the film: Night Moves.

My advice is, DO NOT drink a lot of caffeine before seeing this film because the speed at which it develops can be painful under those circumstances.

This film opens in Calgary on Friday, September 12, 2014, exclusively at the Globe Cinema.

Calgary Showtimes: Night Moves >

Photos Courtesy of http://www.nightmovesmovie.com/photos.html


NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.