Sunday, May 18, 2008

Rain in the Mountains: Grade A

Rain in the Mountains (2007)
Steve Pierre, Joseph Heldman, Nick Erb, Audrey Seymour. Co-writer and Director Joel Metlan.

I am a sucker for Native American humor; I don’t know why. There is something about it’s quirkiness that becomes positively loopy. I am reminded of 2006’s Expiration Date which was similarly creative. In this charming tale filmed in the Pacific Northwest, an older, unemployed Native American (Pierre) encounters a dead man (Heldman) in the woods, a spirit-character, who tells Pierre “his destiny,” which is to lead his people back to the traditional ways. Pierre immediately takes his son (Erb) out fishing, but it turns out that neither of them knows anything about fishing. There some good slapstick scenes, but what I like is the wry irony in the grand, spiritual-sounding pronouncements of the old Indian who can’t fish. He tries hunting also, even though his only gun is a BB gun and the only prey he can track is his neighbor’s cow. When the power company cuts off his family’s electricity, he knows who the enemy is: electricity itself. He goes on a mission that soon gets him into trouble with the law. Throughout, the humor is completely original and very low key, depending on fine absurdity and subtle irony. The acting is painfully sincere and there is a larger, poignant, metaphorical theme.

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