It reminded me being in university, sitting in the small office of my lecturer on a hot sunny day. All the 10 of us are analysing a poem for hours which are like random words put next to each other. If I was to put a word in that poem before the consultation started no one would realise that and would have an even longer conversation why is that word in there. I felt the same watching Northfork.
So after surviving the 103 minutes I quickly had a look what people are saying about it on various websites. Have others enjoyed it, understood it? To my surprise there were many intelligent, positive reviews. Mine is not going to be so intelligent or positive but I’ll try my best to write down how I felt about the film.
The film itself can be described as arty, unique, senseless stories tied together with a glue which doesn't stick. Surreal, but overall not particularly interesting. Around 15 minutes in I kind of realised what this film is about. 6 men in hats has the task to evacuate the residents living in a dam site area on the Northfork River in Montana.
Parallel to that we also have a little sick boy being left by his parents with the priest of the community. 4 characters being introduced who are bizarre at first, and then all the way through. Once I acknowledge that 4 characters are in the little boy’s dream I felt better aka confused again. In bizarre dreams anything can happen and it so did. If anyone can figure out what the ghost story was about the author must have explained it to them but not to me.
Within the cast we have James Woods who felt flat to me and I was disappointed. I saw him in some brilliant roles like in Once Upon a Time in America, Casino and Family Guy and always thought highly of him. The lack of the plot just killed him as well as the others. Nick Nolte, Daryl Hannah, Anthony Edwards, Ben Foster. I was happy to see their names on the cover of the DVD before we started. Well it didn’t mattered on forming my view on the film.
There are two big positives about this film I have to admit. The scenery and cinematography. I loved the color they are using. It fits so well with the mood of the film which are gloomy, arty, slow, tired. Fantastic wide angle shots and close ups on faces like old photographs.
There is a fine line in story telling between giving something to the audience or confusion them. I think this film just missed that fine line. If the story can't be interpreted by us in a way we understand and enjoy it then it is not told right. The film missed the point it wanted to make, if it wanted to make any at the first place.
Slow, long and confusing...great entertainment (for those who like that). I’m not one of them.