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|Originaltitel:||Out of the Furnace|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 117 min.|
|FSK:||From 16 years|
Russell Baze (Christian Bale) tries to lead a righteous life in spite of all adversities in the economically badly hit Braddock, Pennsylvania. The work in the local steelworks is hard, but it brings the money he needs for the care of his sick father and for his own future with the kindergarten teacher Lena (Zoë Saldana). He also has to pay for the debts his brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) owes the bookmaker John Petty (Willem Dafoe). Russell knows that his brother needs him, because after four missions in Iraq he simply can't cope with the normal everyday life in Braddock anymore. It's not an easy life Russell leads. But still he is satisfied, especially since Lena always brings him some light into the omnipresent darkness. But an unfortunate car accident causes everything to collapse. Russell has to go to prison, is abandoned by Lena and cannot be with his father when he dies. When he is finally released, he quickly tries to get his life back on track. But then Rodney gets involved with the ice-cold Harlan deGroat (Woody Harrelson) and starts events that could end in a catastrophe not only for him, but also for his brother…
With "Eye for an Eye", screenwriter and filmmaker Scott Cooper presents the long-awaited successor to his award-winning directorial debut "Crazy Heart" from 2009. Both movies have in common a very authentic mood and a fallen main character who wants to fight her way back into life. But even if there are some thematic overlaps, the dreary revenge drama goes quite different ways than the intensive music film. From the very first minute there is an oppressive shadow over the story of "An eye for an eye". You can feel as a spectator that in Braddock perspectivelessness and poverty reign. Despite the very restrained direction Cooper manages to make clear with just a few very penetrating pictures how hard Russell has to work to find his happiness in this world. But although his father is ill, his brother is depressed by the war and the financial situation is more than tense, he does not let life get him down. He gathers strength for it in the few moments of pure luck, which he may spend with Lena.
Thanks to the fact that in the first act it succeeds so well to show Russell as an upright fighter, who manages with his way to defuse even dicey situations like the first meeting with the brutal hothead Harlan immediately, his deep fall seems all the more tragic. One wishes for Russell that he manages to get out of the deep hole into which he falls through an unfortunate moment of carelessness. That this is made impossible not by his own fault, but by the people around him, makes this drama a real tragedy. The more Russell tries to get back up, the deeper he falls. Lena's inability to assist him in these difficult times, Rodney's desire to silence his inner demons through illegal boxing fights, and the state's ban on Russell attending his father's funeral are all elements that prevent him from leading a good life with his upright character.
The intense play of the performers, in particular Christian Bale, Casey Affleck and an extremely scary Woody Harrelson, underscore the story's extremely gloomy and dreary atmosphere. All this contributes to the fact that "An eye for an eye" has become a very heavy and uncomfortable movie. Although there isn't necessarily any dramatic tension in the classical sense, the viewer is extremely tense until the very consequent finale. It is not possible to simply drop yourself here and enjoy two hours of pure entertainment cinema. "Eye for an Eye", produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and Ridley Scott, is not a film to switch off, not an entertaining escape from reality, but extremely hard food that demands a lot from the audience with its very calm narrative style and its superimposed hopelessness. Those who get involved will be rewarded with a great acting movie and can certainly appreciate the excellent work of cameraman Masanobu Takayanagi and the atmospheric soundtrack of Dickon Hinchliffe. In this case there is also a clear "worth seeing". But if you are looking for a revenge thriller with high entertainment value that is more suitable for the masses, you will certainly be crushed by the heaviness of this work!
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