I enjoy a good mystery-thriller film every now and then, and I knew I had to take a look at Wind River when I read it was inspired by actual events. These terrible events turned out to be ongoing problems Native Americans face in the country, from mistreatment to being murdered over the years that sadly continues to this day. The plot follows U.S. Fish and Wildlife service agent Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) who knows a thing or three about these events all too well, and discovers a frozen, mutilated body of a Native American teen in the remote Wind River reservation in Wyoming. The FBI sends Agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) to investigate the crime with Cory and the local Sheriff Ben (Graham Greene) as her escorts through the snowy and rough terrain. As they make their way through the wilderness and attempt to solve the mystery, they’ll learn the hardships the native people endure while trying not to become victims themselves.
Writer/director Taylor Sheridan manages to craft another thoughtful entry into his movie lineup as he did with such films as Sicario and Hell or High Water. Normally Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen aren’t names you’d associate with great actors, but they manage to pull off their conflicted characters pretty well, which gives the movie the depth it needs to pull in those watching. It’s also interesting and bold of Sheridan to make a film about Native Americans and the struggles they face, which is something most people can say they don’t hear much about. Me and my friends are constantly saying to ourselves “why don’t they make films about Eskimos and other races you hear little of?”, and this movie is about as close as we’re going to get. So it was nice to finally see a film that’s both figuratively and literally different.
The movie looks and sounds great on Blu-ray, with the high definition visuals and audio coming together nicely to keep you engaged with the film until it ends. There’s little in the way of special features, as there’s two deleted scenes and some behind the scenes segments that feature Renner, Olsen, and Sheridan discussing the film and what they brought to it and their characters, and Sheridan hoping the film will bring about some change in both people’s lives and in the film industry.
Those looking for a deep, moving, mystery-thriller need look no further than Wind River, as it’s one of the most original movies you’ll see this year or any other one for that matter. Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen manage to push their acting abilities and pull off some strong performances here, and while there’s little in the special features department, the most special is the film itself that comes recommended.