Days of Heaven

Days of Heaven ★★★★½

The only perfect marriage here is that of sound and vision... the beautiful three adult leads and the rugged yet innocent waifish look of a Linda Manz 2-3 years before Out of the Blue meet a ponderous yet weathered narration and a resplendent Morricone score.

Despite the innocuous title, pastoral imagery and PG certificate, this is jugular cinema - that that cuts to the viscera and leaves you a dazzled mess. Why it works so well is difficult to verbalise, if you can claim to have been able to pinpoint it. Surely it’s the simplicity of it all. But it’s deceptively simple, as it ultimately asks you to sympathise with a violent criminal. Is he a thuggish fool, or a victim of circumstance?

Morricone didn’t speak English, so in creating his score would have needed to rely mainly on the strength of the images for inspiration. What we see communicates so much; it is true 'show, don’t tell' cinema. To me, the film’s brilliant use of the golden hour conveys a sense of how finite what we are seeing is.
It’s morally fascinating, too. The central couple partake in a scheme of deceit, and the nasty father-figure that provides over the soft-mannered, gentle farmer makes it difficult to empathise with the farmer’s predicament. He has been taken advantage of, but arguably so have the workers. Exploitation and utility is everything, especially when you’re on the run.

But ultimately, regardless of the wealth or prestige you may have, nature prevails over everything. It’s the great equaliser.

Block or Report

Joe 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 liked these reviews