I was snared from the very start by the Mexican border landscape where the entire movie takes place. Having twice been dropped off on the border with a backpack and left to hike north, these images of the Sonoran Desert really stir up the feelings from those days. The story that takes place there has big helpings of ironic humor and good characters, with a bit of a raw edge and a sort of neo-frontier vigilante justice. The best modern western I can recall.
2 responses to “Movie: The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005)”
I was hesitant to rent (well, i bought it) this one. but dylan mentioned it to me several times suggesting that it was good flick.
i’d say for BROAD landscape shots, it’s a 9 or a 10. but the story and characters are ‘eh’.
first, tommy lee jones has good screen presence (but not as much as say Warren Oates). in this flick, he plays his same played out character that he developed in Lonesome Dove (and has subsequently used both in and out of shitkickers [cowboy boots]).
and just like Lonesome Dove, he winds up carting a dead carcass(redundant) of a friend all over difficult landscape with the ensuing problems of carting un-cooked / un-preserved dead meat all over the place. ants (he shoulda taken an aardvaark), lighter fluid, anti-freeze and … i mean he should have at least gutted him.
the real problems for me were with believe the characters. no problem with Tommy Lee’s character. great.
the border agent that shoots mel is stereotypical. throughout his trials and tribulations, he never offers up that Mel may have actually NOT been shooting at him.. i found that weird. he really believe he was being shot at? hmmmm….
his wife (beauty) is hard to take. sure, she is same horny bored chic (as was in The Border [jack nicholson, harvey keitel, etc.]). but she fucks some wetback ranchero ‘cuz she married a minuteman? pleez. that’s a stretch. well, hard for me to digest that one.
dwight yoakem had some good lines that were funny in an ironic way.
some other ~weird~ out of place scenes, like when tommy is all drunk and he calls that hag back in texas and ask her to marry him. ‘eh’.
and what of all of Mel’s talk? that was not his wife / kids. and the town he said he was from didn’t exist. why all the lying? stupid.
i dunno.. the movie made little sense to me. not that there needs to be an easily explained hollywood ending, but this had NOTHING. fortunately, the move was overrall lacking enough that it didn’t leave me wondering about all the questions. ‘eh’.
I thought that Mel lying about his family kind of summarized the theme. He doesn’t like part of himself, so he lies about it to help maintain his denial of it. Seems like you just didn’t like the theme. For me – I’m interested in how other people deal with that kind of denial, because I know I do it…