The Hunter Reviews
Rafi Pitts has made a gripping film which is set in the run up to Irans 2008 presidentail elections.
Pitts is outstanding in the lead as Ali a nightshift worker whos life is changed forever when his wife and daughter are killed in the crossfire of a police shoot out.
Ali is faced with police indifference to his plight and he becomes bitter and enraged.
Ali is also a crack shot and it a fit of rage he shoots and kills two policeman in a violent and random act.
He becomes a fugitive and is tracked down by two cops with varying ideas on law enforcement.
The film works because it keeps your interest and the fact that Pitts is mesmorizing in the lead role.
As a director Pitts is brave enough to repeat several shots and desaturates the stroger colours in order to give us a bleak idustrial Iran which is progressing forward but is leaving Ali behind.
The film is a great piece of soicial commentary and i for one will be keeping an eye on Pitts as this film is a masterpiece.
The Hunter is set against the backdrop of the Iranian elections in 2009 and in a way the protagonist represents the change many Iranians were perhaps hoping for. Whilst The Hunter isn't necessarily a political film per sť,politics is present within its DNA and motivates the story to become an allegory, of sorts, to political change; how people - flawed, miserable, frustrated people - go to work every day and find a way to care about something beyond themselves, despite themselves. When pushed to the point where one seemingly has nowhere to go and nothing to lose, is there an argument to push back and to what end?
The story of Ali, who was recently released from prison, and now works during the night trying to spend most time possible with his beautiful wife and young daughter, was very engaging and well developed. We find out that Ali likes to retreat to his favourite pastime of hunting in the secluded forest north of town. One day his wife and daughter went missing... Ali finds out that his wife Sara is accidentally killed in a police shoot-out with demonstrators... and he decides to make things "right".
This feature film was recommended to me by couple of RT friends and I finally managed to get a copy of it. It is well developed movie, screenplay doesn't have too many words but says a lot, and acting was superb! Especially when towards the end the three men are surrounded by trees, lost in a maze, a desolate landscape, where the boundaries between the hunter and the hunted are difficult to perceive.
But my problem is to understand: what was the point of all of the events in this movie!?
The Hunter is about a young watchman named Ali Alavi who treasures every moment he spend with his family, until one night it's all taken away from him. The plot in general doesn't much dialogue being exchange, but it little dialogue helps draw you into the movie. It atmosphere felt authentic and real while every character felt like a real human being. I find the character Ali Alavi real fascinating, his desire for revenge, his view on life, and the fact he's a loner contribute to the development of Ali Alavi. I enjoyed the writing very much, it's unconventional and unlike most of the movies I see. One scene I enjoyed allot was the chase scene in the fog which was beautifully filmed and had no music playing. In every other movie music would be added to such a scene, but not in The Hunter as it feels real and there is thrills watching a scene like that. The Hunter plot might have little dialogue, but it's huge on it plot.
Rafi Pitts did an excellent job as a director. He knows how to captures certain scenes and convey emotion in it. He knows how to move the story in interesting directions and how to tell one. As an actor, he does everything as it should be done. Rafi Pitts created an interesting piece of cinema that'll be hard to imitate from it grim atmosphere in the forest to the cinematography of it amazing setting. The man is clearly talented and I hope he makes more films in the future.
The Hunter has an incredible atmosphere, fascinating protagonist, and a experience that not many films can offer. If in the mood for something original and gripping, you can't go wrong with The Hunter.
He is lonely, speechless, perplexed, political-prisoner. He kills a policeman at vintage-point exactly in same manner, his wife and daughter were killed. He is captured into woods by two policemen (one being big-mouth corrupt, the other being polite and honest), they lose their way back. This is an essential part of film, this puts them to practical test of their lives. Excellent cinematography, handful of dialogues, but too much to fill the space.
Roger Ebert says about character Ali (Rafi Pitts)
"He has an uncanny presence. With his severe, tense face beneath a dark brow, he suggests Daniel Day-Lewis"
(what else to say about this movie)!!!
The direction I think was what did it, some magnificent shots at times, with great scenery featured. There are seemingly three parts to the movie, Acts in terms of what occurs. The First Act is the lead up to the protagonists wife and daughter dying. The Second Act is him dealing with the pain. The Third Act is based in the woods.
The thing is, Rafi Pitts, whilst a good director, doesn‚(TM)t seem that great an actor. His facial expressions are very one-dimensional and he hardly says a word, his expression mostly stoic, and without any emotion from the actor, it is hard to invest. The film looks good, but with little emotional investment, I‚(TM)m unlikely to watch it again.
"The Hunter" is a fine example of economic and terse filmmaking, making good use of its jump cuts to express the passage of time in a nonstop urban society(that apparently does not involve stoplights) that lies in contrast to the peaceful countryside. That's not the only contrast in a country that tries to be so uniform on the surface like Iran(you try and find someone in a country where half the country is supposed to dress alike) where tensions lie just below the surface, just waiting to erupt.