7/22/2006

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

If you have not yet seen the film, there may be some spoilers in here for you! :O

Usually watching a film at our independent cinema is pre-meditated, and I know well enough about the film to know that I wish to see it. Though in the case of Three Burials, I had never heard of it in my life –other than small mention and a review on blogcritics- but, as always; I picked a winner, and Three Burials was an amazing film.

Directed by Mr Tommy Lee Jones –in his directorial debut (if you excuse some tv show)- Starring Tommy Lee Jones (Pete Perkins), Barry Pepper (Mike Norton), Julio Cedillo (Melquiades Estrada), Dwight Yoakam (Belmont), January Jones (Lou Ann Norton), Melissa Leo (Rachel) and Levon Helm as the Old man with the radio.

The title, rather self-explanatory is based around the three burials of Melquiades Estrada, as well as the events leading up to his death, while also showing developing the bond between him and Pete, and those whose actions led to his death.
The last ½ of the film was fixated on Pete’s quest (with the unwilling help of Mike) to give Melquiades his ‘dying wish’.

The film itself is a strange piece. Set in modern day Texas –as constantly reminded through technology- the film has a feel of the past, this mainly coming from the inherent values of the old west, based on friendship, loyalty and commitment on Pete’s behalf for his best friend.

I must say the acting in Three Burials was superb, this comment coming mainly from Barry Pepper and Tommy Lee Jones, who as the main characters gave terrific performances. Especially Pepper, whose character truly evolved throughout the film, he had you hating him, feeling sympathy and overall loving the guy.
Tommy Lee Jones who held a character that you could only respect, every action had meaning, and you could never hate him for any of his decisions, can’t go without saying that although all acting in the film was great, Pepper and Jones really outdid themselves.

Similar to the Australian outback in the Proposition, Three Burials had some beautiful Mexican landscapes. Another plus to the film was its characters; the film took the time to explore just about every character, giving every person some sort of very human, relatable qualities.
There were also certain points in the film that came to mind, when I couldn’t help but laugh; two scenes in particular I remember were that of when Pete had to get the ants off Melquiades, and of course when Mike saw the television programme on the television in the desert –that point I just cracked up, not entirely sure if this was intentional for a giggle, but I sure as hell found that bit particularly hilarious.

One thing I know I can say is towards the timeframe of the film, it felt rather confusing at first; differentiating before his death and after his death, and made the film a little hard for me to pick up at first.

The film, overall was a very rewarding experience; really picking up in the middle of the film it never once faltered afterwards, with good performances from Jones and Pepper, I would recommend the film to anyone wishing to see something enjoyable, but also different.

Cptalbertwesker Rating – 8/10
To the strange title of the film I never expected what I received, though I what I did get was a thoroughly good film, and some nice characters.
The absolute feel of a western, but set in modern day.

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