January 02, 2015

The Retrieval (2013)

The Retrieval (2013) - Movie Review
Directed by: Chris Eska
Country: USA

Movie Review: Chris Eska’s third feature, “The Retrieval”, is set in 1864, in the middle of a destructive civil war, that bestows sufficient suspense and emotion to guarantee our attention. Will (Ashton Sanders), is a 13-year-old black kid who, together with his greedy uncle Marcus (Keston John), acts as a snitch for Burrell (Bill Oberst Jr.), a hunter of slaves whose mission is to capture and kill Nate (Tishuan Scott), an emancipated slave. Struggling against his conscience for betraying his own people, the bewildered Will receives training to mislead the chosen prey by convincing him that his brother is dying. Everything goes wrong after the men are caught in a shooting between the Northern and Southern forces. Along the way, throughout beautiful woods and forests, the fatherless boy and his new guardian, create an exceptional bond that impel them to protect each other from the dominant white men. In one occasion, Will repays the favor, saving Nate’s life, and the latter says: ‘you save me back there!’, to which the boy replied ‘I saved myself’. Eska was smart in his approach: not pushing the scenes beyond its limits, using efficient close-ups, and relying in the powerful cinematography from the Japanese Yasu Tanida. With a tighten plot and covering a well-defined historical context, the low-budgeted indie “The Retrieval” is a slow-burning thriller whose simplicity of processes don’t remove the power of the plot. Debutant young actor Ashton Sanders did a great job, as well as the former Oprah Winfrey Scholar, Tishuan Scott.

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