Savannah is a new film starring Jaimie Alexander, Jim Caviezel, Sam Shepard and Chiwetel Ejiofor. This movie is based on the true story of Ward Allen (Caviezel), who rejects his plantation heritage for the freedom of life on a river. This compelling story of Ward Allen talks about the life he made for himself as he lives off the land and spends his time hunting with his buddy Christmas Moultrie (Ejiofor). Until a time where he must choose between his newfound freedom and the woman who captured his heart. Savannah opens in theaters today, August 23rd 2013. Read the latest review below:
“Savannah: A True Story from Long Ago
Savannah is based on the true story of the larger-than-life Ward Allen (Jim Caviezel), a man whose profession as a hunter was deemed antiquated and uncivilized by the new decrees and mores of modernity in the early 20th century. The film establishes Allen as a sharp but stubborn outdoorsy type with a pedigree, a man so in tune with nature that he turned his back on his inheritance in order spend his days by the river, shooting fowl for a living alongside his best friend, a freed slave named Christmas Moultrie (Chiwetel Ejiofor). Though hunting had become a restricted activity in Savannah, Georgia, few took the matter seriously, including Allen, who’s frequently charged for breaking the law, but never sentenced. Early in the film, he defends himself in court during a trial that the townsfolk seemingly attend solely to witness his witty repartee with the merry, laissez-faire judge (Hal Holbrook).
Allen’s life story is told via flashback in 1958, from a 95-year-old Moultrie (Ejiofor in unconvincing age makeup) to a younger friend, Jack Cay (Bradley Whitford), who in real life wrote a book about Allen and Moultrie. The film, adapted from Cay’s memoir, is impossible to take seriously as a commemoration of Moultrie’s life or Allen’s prolific status because of its plethora of contrivances, from the film score that’s so sentimental it almost suggests an intentional satire of middlebrow historical dramas, to the cloying script that has Allen’s charming little pleasantries treated by everyone who lives in the film’s Mayberry-as-Savannah as uproarious quips.
At least Allen is written to be a loquacious, affable character, giving Caviezel the chance to infuse his flat dialogue with a modicum of humanity, warmth, and some rifle-totin’ swagger. Ejiofor’s token black sidekick, on the other hand, reveals Annette Haywood-Carter’s shoddy direction. Moultrie’s nature is depicted mostly through brief shots of the man looking silently troubled and sympathetic in the aftermath of Allen’s domestic ordeals (his wife’s nervous breakdown and placement in an asylum after having a miscarriage), and yet many of these scenes fail to communicate anything other than Ejiofor’s ability to furrow his brow. Rather than seriously delve into what life must have been like for the last slave on the Mulberry Grove Plantation, the filmmakers settle for a Lifetime-grade articulation of racism in the 1910s, with a few white characters objecting to Allen’s friendship with a “negro.”
The rest of the review can be read at Slant Magazine.
Savannah is directed by Annette Haywood-Carter. Tell us your opinion on this new film by commenting below.
Don’t forget to read “Lee Daniels’ The Butler Movie Review” right in this blog.