Scars of war take the longest to heal…
While Hostiles may present some hard to deal with moments but it serves as salient reminder of the toll that war takes on the lives of men thanks to a gripping performance.
US Calvary officer Capt Joseph J Blocker (Christian Bale) is tasked with escorting a dying Cheyenne chief (Wes Studi) and his family across dangerous territory to their home. This is a bitter assignment for Blocker on the tail end of his career as he’s seen his fair of bloodshed in fighting against the Cheyenne but as they face their challenges along the way, he learns how the horrors of war have changed them both and is forced to confront the racism and hatred that has been brewing inside him for so very long.
A story that applies to any age, Hostiles reminds of the importance of not necessarily forgetting the past, but not letting it define us at the same time. Director Scott Cooper and cinematographer Masanobu Takayanagi turn the worlds of the undefined plains into a world unto themselves that hold a myriad of secrets that no one truly wants to confront. Cooper allows this to be a brutal yet truly humanistic affair as Bale goes above and beyond to show us the tortured layers of Blocker’s soul that he puts on the screen.
Hostiles won’t attain the status of classic but it does rank as one of the better recent efforts to come out of the western genre.