Deliverance (1972)

"Insurance? I never been insured in my life. There's no risk. "

Let's just get this out of the way at the beginning. Burt Reynolds is a man amongst boys. Now that I have discussed that, we can get on with business. 

I got pretty much what I was expecting out of this film. An overall disturbing sensation, people running for their lives, characters wondering what to do once they have killed someone, and a little bit of rape. All of that and I didn't even really know that much about the film. I think that overall Deliverance had the elements that the filmmakers wanted to convey but I think that they should have gone further with some of the themes and cut out others. 

In the moment that they realize that they will also have to bury Drew in the lake along with the others, Bobby makes the observation that it will never end. This is a really great theme to explore and while they touched on it I don't think that they ever dove into this theme which is unfortunate because it would have been the most interesting parts of the film. 

It would have been a good decision to get rid of most of the initial canoeing down the river and use that time to explore more so what happened to the three men once they got out of the river. This is a much more interesting topic than a bunch of city dudes and one Davy Crockett testosterone pumped guide floating on some water.

This was an absolutely beautifully photographed film though. I had no idea when it was made until I asked about it. The colors were vibrant, the shots were not totally innovative but always interesting, and overall it really did make you feel like you had been dropped in the Georgia woods (which may not be such a great thing now that I think about it). In addition to that I thought that the sound mixing really stood out (and no, I am not being facetious). I find that a lot of times, when there is running water in film (particularly older films) it can overwhelm the soundtrack but it was done very nicely here. There were also a lot of nature sounds mixed in a more subtle manner than is per usual. The music is, of course, iconic and I can see why. It is not only very interesting, but mixed in the right parts at the right noise level. 

Overall, I thought that this film was pretty good. I don't know that I will be screening it at my next movie night or anything but it is iconic and I'm glad that I finally saw it. I think that many of the ideas in the film have been rehashed and done a lot better (A Simple Plan) but there is something to say for it being the original (if it is in fact the original). 

A final thought before we wrap up our January movies. I don't know if anyone else has realized this but, for some reason, this month's movie picks have mostly given an elaborate argument for not living in a given place:
Mulholland Dr. - don't live in L.A. you will get shot at and find rapidly decomposing bodies (that you later become and then tiny old people make you kill yourself?)
The Last Picture Show - don't live in rural Texas. Nothing will ever go right in your life, ever. 
Deliverance - don't live in rural Georgia, you will probably not make it out alive and unraped.
Manhattan - well I guess that it's ok to live in Manhattan, if you can deal with Woody Allen.