There comes a time when a film comes along that appears to be quiet but still finds a way to entertain and enlighten. 2015’s Forsaken, starring real life father and son Donald and Kiefer Sutherland, is one such film. In brings great cinematography and a story of redemption and salvation to the screen.
The story, set in 1872 Wyoming, revolves around John Henry Clayton (Kiefer Sutherland), a former gunslinger and participant in the Civil War, who comes home 10 years later and attempts to reconnect with his father, the Reverend Clayton (Donald Sutherland), and make amends with his life. Upon returning home, he encounters his former girlfriend, Mary-Alice (Demi Moore), who has apparently moved on herself and has married another, and also tries to move on from their past. Additionally, John Henry learns that a corrupt businessman, James McCurdy (Brian Cox) is buying nearby properties in order to help usher in the railroad. Michael Wincott plays Dave Turner, a hired gun of McCurdy’s. Turner acts as John Henry’s friend at first, but has the sinister underlying motive of helping McCurdy and obtaining his money. You can view the trailer below:
We learn, through the course of the film, John Henry has given up his guns because of an incident involving a shooting. In a touching scene, he breaks down and cries as he tells his father the story. As things progress, John Henry can no longer maintain his new lifestyle of starting fresh and helping his father as McCurdy continues his relentless pursuit of land. John Henry is forced to take up his guns once again to rid the town of McCurdy and his cronies once and for all.
Director Jon Cassar (24) and writer Brad Mirman bring the characters to life through simple but effective dialogue, great direction and beautiful cinematography. On the surface, the story is somewhat simplistic but the action does move along quite nicely and comes in around 90 minutes. It is an effective story of redemption. The performances provide enough energy and substance to bring the characters to life without going over the top or being too humdrum to lose interest. It is a spiritual, quiet, and intimate film. There is not a lot of action per say, but the film does provide enough story and character moments to keep the film’s storyline going.