Film Review: Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
Convicted outlaw Bob Muldoon escapes from prison in order to reunite with his wife, and the daughter that he has never met…
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints is character-focused, rather than being a plot-driven film. There is not much too the plot. Instead, Lowery’s film concentrates on its two protagonists. Emotions in the film are conveyed acutely.
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints is a slow burner. It takes a while for things to get going, and even then proceedings move at a near-glacial pace. As a result, the film is not likely to appeal to or please all viewers.
Those that give Ain’t Them Bodies Saints a go will be rewarded with a film that takes its time to develop characters. It is this evolving of the main characters that leads to an intense conclusion.
There is a melancholy to the film which is palpable. Ain’t Them Bodies Saints is successful in generating atmosphere. This is aided by the remote setting. However, it is the style of the film and its themes which create the sense of passion that permeates the film.
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints evokes Bonnie and Clyde; there are a number of parallels between the two films. Both romanticise the outlaw as a complex figure. Furthermore, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints places a love story within the confines of violent crime, just like the 1967 film.
The cinematography in Ain’t Them Bodies Saints is fantastic. Bradford Young’s visuals are most attractive. The film’s sound is also highly effective.
Casey Affleck delivers a strong central performance. Affleck is entirely believable as Bob Muldoon. Rooney Mara is also convincing as Ruth Guthrie. Other performances, such as Ben Foster’s Patrick are also decent.
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints immerses viewers in its sumptuous but haunting atmosphere. An impressive second feature from David Lowery.