Dutch Director Martin Koolhoven presents a western that doesn’t hold back on the faux blood. Dakota Fanning (War of the Worlds) portrays Liz, a troubled woman who finds herself in great danger when a brutal reverend graces her frontier community with his archaic presence.
Guy Pearce (Memento, The Hurt Locker) plays the menacing reverend; aptly named The Reverend, who strives to exact his own warped vengeance. Pearce appears to give an unsettling performance despite showcasing a cliché villainous scar. Brimstone is presented in four chapters (Revelation, Exodus, Genesis and Retribution), and in true Memento fashion the first three tells the story in reverse, allowing the final chapter ‘Retribution’ to draw a conclusion to the narrative.
Following the acclaim of his previous film Winter in Wartime, Koolhoven’s first English language feature film seems to ooze enough biblical symbolism to make Mel Gibson wince. With that been said, critics have praised Koolhoven’s storytelling, further describing Brimstone as an intense and brooding take on a traditional western. Dakota Fanning has been cited to give arguably her best performance to date. You may however think ‘what’s new? – Dakota Fanning is a fantastic actor’, well her portrayal is further commended as her character is a mute. Cinemagoers must rely on Fanning’s intricately formed facial expressions to understand the emotions and nuances of her character.
Brimstone took to the London Film Festival last October but there is currently no official UK cinema release date.