AppsScraps Movie Reviews

May 21, 2008

The Indian Runner

Release date: 7 September 1991 (Toronto International Film Festival, Toronto)

The Indian Runner was Sean Penn's first foray into writing and directing and was released way back in 1991. The movie did very poorly at the box office, not surprising as the story of two brothers very different approaches to life is sad and unrelenting. The two brothers - Frank (played by Viggo Mortensen) and Joe (played by David Morse) - simply cannot find common ground to stand on as their history and perspectives on what life is all about clash. The Indian Runner is a complex character driven movie with nary a happy moment. Joe is the town's sheriff and is happily married; Frank is a drifter and clearly still haunted by his time in Vietnam. Joe is at a loss to understand why Frank can't just settle down with his girlfriend (played by Patricia Arquette) and Frank bristles at his brother's constant attempts to rein him into a way of life he just can't accept. Mortensen is outstanding in this film (and I'm not just speaking to the fact we see him in fully frontal nudity. His performance alone makes this difficult film worth a rent.

My rating 7 out of 10

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