Erica (Amanda Fuller) is a sad, emotionally damaged, promiscuous young woman who takes refuge from the lonely bleakness of her life in the nightly, anonymous, mechanically joyless sexual encounters she indulges in as she trawls the bars and clubs of Austin, Texas for one-night stands.
Erica (Amanda Fuller) is a sad, emotionally damaged, promiscuous young
woman who takes refuge from the lonely bleakness of her life in the nightly,
anonymous, mechanically joyless sexual encounters she indulges in as she trawls
the bars and clubs of Austin, Texas for one-night stands.
She forms a tentative bond with
quiet drifter Nate (Noah Taylor), a
borderline sociopath recently honourably discharged from the Army after serving
as an ‘interrogator’ in Iraq. Nate
may or may not be mulling over a job offer with the CIA and is a little batsh*t
nuts but he’s a gentleman and the only guy in town who treats her with respect
and hasn’t tried to sleep with her and their platonic romance offers some
measure of redemption and peace for them both.
A peace that’s shattered when
wannabee rock star and Mamma’s boy Franki (Marc
Senter), a one-night stand who, once upon a time, gang-banged Erica with
his band buddies tears into her life with a little bone to pick with her. When Erica doesn’t come home, quiet,
unassuming Nate who has an almost Biblical sense of wrath sets out to find her,
a quest that will end in tragedy and brutal, unforgiving violence.
An impressive study of loneliness,
alienation and the transformative power of love that morphs around the halfway
mark into a very nasty slasher/revenge movie, Red, White & Blue unfolds at a haunting, almost glacially
naturalistic pace, lulling the audience before hammer-punching them in the guts
with some terrifying scenes of torture and violence as Nate’s psychosis and
capacity for violence are let off the leash.
While it deals with some pretty
raw emotions the film is beautifully nuanced with fantastic performances from
Taylor, Senter and, particularly, Fuller whose small-town slut is a heartbreakingly
tragic figure, bringing mayhem to the lives of those around her while never
losing the audience’s sympathy.
Senter brings the same note of whiny self-absorption to his role that
made him so mesmerising in The Lost
and Taylor is a terrifying force of vengeance. The scene where he tortures the young daughter of one of
Franki’s friends to make her father is truly horrific, all the more so because
we never see the wounds he inflicts or doubt his conviction to follow through
on his threats.
Sartre said that: “Hell is other
people’” and this couldn’t be truer than in Red, White & Blue.
A horror film where the horror comes from the bad, selfish decisions of
the protagonists, spiraling into a cycle of violence that lays waste to all, Red, White & Blue is a visceral,
powerful piece of cinema from a ferociously talented British director.