Juan Sayago was released after eighteen years in prison for murdering Raul Trueba, a man who challenged him only to get in the duel in which he fairly lost his life. Juan returns to his town to live quietly, trying to rebuild his life.
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Stupendous tragedy. My first Ripstein film and I'm blown away by his ability to find the right tone for a Garcia Marquez story. The knitting scene is so tender yet matter-of-fact, wistful yet wise. Fascinating repetition of women taking away guns from men, or giving guns to men. Devastating when the younger son reverts to base revenge, despite all the efforts to set him straight.
It's astounding that a 23-year-oldfirst-time filmmaker got to shoot a script by Garcia Marquez and Fuentes. Even more astounding, though, is the total and complete mastery Ripstein shows in his handling of the actors, of their gestures, of props(the glasses, the pocketwatch), of camera placement and movement, of his handling of time and space... I'm not a Ripstein fan, but here he is nothing short of brilliant.
What beautiful stroke of fortune handed first-time director Arturo Ripstein a script written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Carlos Fuentes? And how was it that he not only didn't fail it, but quite confidently made a masterpiece? I tip my hat to all involved.
One of the best westerns I've ever seen. It puts almost every revenge movie to shame as it shows the futility of grudges, the agony of the loss of life and time, and the cyclical nature of violence. No tricks, no gimmicks, no glitz or glamour, just the painful tragic reality of it all. That it's a first film is all the more impressive.
"TTD has the economical plotting of a pulp B movie, but it boasts a richness of character...and an unpretentious visual elegance...that makes it stand out from the pack." - Justin Remer, DVD Talk. I love Martinez de Hoyos' portrayal and found the way guns passed hands through the women very interesting. I was rooting for you, Sayago!
A master director who learned from the best. He is confortable filming westerns, everyday life, utopias, the supernatural, etc. Impecable settings, a sound that rises for every scene, perfect native dialogues with subtle humor, we can feel the climax rising. It is a chronicle for an impeding doom.
I love westerns and this one was really cool. I've heard about it in the past so I'm glad that I finally got to see this. There was a lot of tension in this film and I was really engaged in it. The shaky-cam was interesting but it really added a raw sense of reality to the plot. I would recommend this film to just about anyone and I will most likely watch it again soon.