In ‘The Matador’, director Richard Shepard experimented with a film structure that was completely out of the canons —he placed the first turning point almost at the end— and that, although for many it was what gave value to that film, in my opinion did not work. The film had values, but, in my opinion, they were different: perhaps the style of the framing or the interpretation of its protagonists.
Shepard returns on January 4 with ‘Hunter’s Shadow’ (‘The Hunting Party’) and proves once again to be one of the most particular directors of these times full of clichés repeated over and over again. In this case, I consider that his bet has been successful and I approve the unorthodox way in which the author has introduced humor in a film about a topic, not just serious, but also highly controversial and not exempt from denunciation intentions. As I anticipated you, ‘Hunter’s Shadow’ tells us about the hunting by three journalists of a war criminal whom they nickname “The Fox” because, in turn, he likes to hunt. Although the film is clearly based on the figure of Radovan Karadzic, the character has been given a fictitious name. The film demonstrates, within a novel genre that is the humorous thriller, that intelligence agencies around the world could catch this type of criminal and that, if they do not, it is probably because they have agreed with them to let them live. in exchange for not trying to return to power.
He style of Shepard, as I was saying, is very original and ingenious and it manages to place you in the film with enough distance to accept that tone between the sober and the comic, but with enough involvement to interest you deeply in the stories. the scenes of action They’re well shot, and editor Carole Kravetz has some standout moments that are also fun to watch. Perhaps the inclusion of flashbacks is a somewhat vulgar element among other more unusual resources and a clumsy way of presenting the motivations of the characters, but it doesn’t bother, since they are very brief flashes.
The script —loosely based on the Esquire magazine article ‘What I did on my summer vacation’, by Scott Anderson— has a structure that starts out following the writing rules perfectly, unlike ‘The Matador’, although at some point it breaks the flow to leave the plot suspended for a few seconds and resume it immediately. The ending, maybe a bit abrupt, could also be one of those weird things that Shepard likes to do. But none of this is too flashy and apparently the construction of the argument is barely worth noting. What could be pointed out from the script of ‘Hunter’s Shadow’ are their dialogues full of fluency and taunts and piques between some characters and others. That is, something like the dialogues of good romantic comedies, but between heterosexual men.
In addition to the work done by the director and screenwriter, we must applaud the performances of the three actors protagonists and those around them. I am not a fan of Richard Gere, neither as an actor nor as a beauty, but I admit that in this film he plays his role with great ease and without going overboard. Terrence Howard gives him perhaps the most comical point and Jesse Eisenberg is in charge of giving the freak’s vision, but with the surprising side of him in which he shows that he can also add value to the matter.
‘The Hunting Party’ literally means “hunting party”, but instead of complaining about the translation of the title, which would be very cliché; I refer you to an entry about a couple of untranslatable expressions in the dialogues that will probably be more useful for you to fully enjoy the film.
Definitely, ‘Hunter’s Shadow’ is a movie in which it could be difficult to enter because of its peculiar tonebut what, If we manage to get into it, we can enjoy it very muchthanks to its humor, but also as an action and intrigue film.
In Blogdecine | Poster and trailer for ‘The Hunter’s Shadow’