We've kind of hit an art-film-fest of sorts in the last week or so, with offerings from Netflix such as DOWNLOADING NANCY, CAMILLE and now SUSPICIOUS RIVER.
Of these three...the latter is by far my favorite. All have been interesting in their own way. CAMILLE, for example, was not your typical RomCom...and really gets under the skin a bit and makes the romantic ending "mean something." Though totally predictable (to my wife, anyway, a VERY astute plot-predicter), CAMILLE nevertheless satisfied where Hollywood generally fails miserably.
But tonight's SUSPICIOUS RIVER takes the prize for our recent viewings and just all-out "What the HELL" and expectation-cutting subtlety.
First of all, let me plug the sound track. This movie has some great music. The final song, playing over the ending credits, I pegged as Cowboy Junkies (one of my favorite bands) and that's just the tip of the iceberg. The music...outstanding as stand alone songs...fit. It fit the movie for what was going on at that time, as movie music should.
Next. Well, for a movie with the basic premise of prostitution, I've got to say it had very little in the way of gratuitous nudity. This movie accomplished with art and visual subtlety what lesser directors do with the 'cheap titillation.' Rape scenes were character development, for crying out loud! This was solid film making.
My wife (again, the plot-diviner) announced her interpretation of the final "twist" before the reveal. What everyone credits M. Night Shyster with accomplishing with THE SIXTH SENSE (admittedly not a bad movie...the only one of his I can stomach) was given here in ways that would make Night pee his pants to think of it.
SUSPICIOUS RIVER has us asking, the whole movie, "just what the hell is going on here?" Even the ending...it's over. You don't get some Hollyweird simple payoff. This movie makes you wonder...WTF?
But it's beautiful in it's spareness. What it doesn't tell you, how it makes you wanting more, comprises its art.
I give SUSPICIOUS RIVER 4.5 of 5, unusually high for me on any movie.