WILDLIKE || 2014, USA || Drama || Directed by – Frank Hall Green / Written by – Frank Hall Green / Produced by – Joel Blanco, Chris Carroll, Julie Christeas, Frank Hall Green, Julia Oh, Joseph Stephans, Christine Vachon, Schuyler Weiss / Music by – Danny Bensi, Saunder Jurriaans / Cinematography – Hillary Spera / Editing by – Mako Kumitsuma / Production design – Chad Keith / Starring – Ella Purnell, Bruce Greenwood, Brian Geraghty, Nolan Gerard Funk, Ann Dowd / Running Time: 104 mins.
A young girl runs away from the sexual abuse and emotional blackmail of her uncle, whom she is temporarily placed in the care of, and crosses paths with a fifty-something year old man on a solitary trip in the Alaskan wilderness. While the contrast of their initial encounter would say otherwise, they gradually bond, and both seem to fill a void in each other’s lives.
Wildlike is driven by a sophisticated screenplay, written by director Frank Hall Green, that makes the unlikely central friendship seem believable. Rather than calling upon the usual clichés that are found in similar films, it affords itself the luxury of making use of restrained dialogue, which therefore makes the portrayal of its simple storyline meditative, strengthening its naturally paced progression and deepening the focus on character development, on top of making their interactions with one another well dosed but particularly meaningful and revealing.
Bruce Greenwood recalls the warmest of Clint Eastwood’s quiet and restrained yet charismatic and warm dramatic turns, as a middle aged male, apparently detatched man, who is also surprisingly caring by nature. But another important character worthy of being mentioned is certainly the setting itself. The aforementioned Alaskan wilderness often seems like an extension of the loneliness of its two leading character. It is never glorified as simply beautiful, and indeed sometimes feels quite nameless. However, its importance in bringing the two together and helping them developed is an appropriate silent celebration, as well as further testimony of its impact in the storyline, wonderfully conveying its overall quiet nature. – 4/5