Film Review: Prince Avalanche
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4/5Prince Avalanche is a film for the non-casual viewer to get engrossed in, comforting like a warm blanket but also moving, thought-provoking and, at times, extremely funny. Set as two men paint the roads after a devastating forest fire in the late eighties, Prince Avalanche is an existential study of being, delving into the characters of two very different embodiments of manhood (Paul Rudd’s ‘real man’ and Emilie Hirsch’s youthful ‘ladies man’) both sure of their position as alpha males but ultimately flawed and fractured. Acting plaudits go to Rudd whose brilliantly understated, and emotional performance shows that he has more strings to his acting bow than he is given credit for. His balance of comic timing and silent emoting is impressive. The film plays out, in the majority, between the two main characters largely alone in a beautiful, but charred forest – their thoughts, their personalities. The dialogue and the relationship between the two winds and veers at a slow place, mirroring the protagonists’ drifting journey along the vast forest road. Action and even speech is at a minimum, but it is a testament to how a good Green is as a film maker that this enhances the experience. Cut with stunning shots of the wilderness and its animal inhabitants, the location almost becomes a third character acting as the counterpoint to the human action and creating the sense of the all engulfing immensity of the world and existence. The wordless presence of the wounded forest also serves to reinforce the rebirth of the characters and humbles them in such a way as to make their turmoil in amongst it all seem charming.
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