Review of the Film Stillwater

June 8, 2023 0 Comments

A parent’s resilience is subject to many things in Tom McCarthy’s Stillwater. At first glance, things seem to be quite simple. This is a working class man in Oklahoma who is putting everything aside to go to France to support his daughter. You can see it’s broken inside. For years he has supported what is left of his family, and now he has to face a father’s worst fear: seeing his son waste his life in cage. She claims to be innocent and he believes her in everything else. If there is a possibility of liberation (and salvation), he thinks about it blindly. Bill Baker is so caught up in his schedule that he changes his life to prove his daughter’s innocence.

That’s when Stillwater enters its dramatic and sober territory, one that does not allow the distant idea that everything is in vain. Because the plot allows you to have some ideas: what if she is really innocent? Who is the finisher in the crime drama? How far is Bill willing to go to prove it? In any scenario, he’s right. She’s action for something she thinks is safe, and it’s about her daughter being released as a victim. However, the secret in Stillwater is darker than you imagine. It doesn’t matter if he did it or not. What matters now is how a parent will do anything to make us believe that he is right.

McCarthy’s film is headed by an incredibly versatile Matt Damon in the role of the baker. His performance is impeccable. There are no excesses or melodramatic twists that can turn your character into a collection of possibilities. Damon forces us to believe in a man’s priority to protect his daughter from everything else. But he doesn’t do it with explosive tones or even changes in his posture. His body translates into a coldness necessary to believe in his mission.

Stillwater is a pure drama that turns into a crime thriller because of one strong thing that makes Baker a lifestyle, and he will never stop trying to achieve his goal of proving that his daughter is innocent. That’s why the ending of the film feels invasive, touching and even disturbing. When he discovers the whole truth about the matter, he understands that the moral decline is his and unique. The rest simply made mistakes, reluctantly and almost involuntarily. Baker is the only one with a lot of demons in his head that will never leave him.

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