2012 Film Challenge #37 - Badlands

Now, this blog doesn't get many comments. But when it does, my word, are those comments read.

I'd even go as far as to say that they're taken into consideration.

A few weeks ago I watched Field ofDreams and found myself taken in by the film's wonderful summery warmth.

A certain Havershambler (who really should start blogging again) then recommended Badlands.

“It has the same wonderful amber colours and dusky vibe,” he said, “alongside a wonderful bit of spree killing and a zonked out voice-over from Sissy Spacek.”

Zonked out? She sounded like a child reading her “What I Did On My Summer Holidays” essay as she narrated her “wonderful bit of spree killing”.

The recommendation of Mr. Havershambler (who really should start blogging again) was essentially all I had to go on when I sat down to watch Badlands late one night. I was tired and a little drunk. Surely the perfect frame of mind in which to watch a Terrence Malick film?

Slow, meditative, gentle, brutal, enthralling. Martin Sheen's psycopath is a tender, loveable sort. He murders in a laid back, spur-of-the-moment sort of way. When he kills – which he does quite often – you can tell that not even he quite knows what he's doing or why.

He's the elder in this Bonnie & Clyde relationship, yet both he and Ms. Spacek are essentially children. Pretty much the first thing they do when on-the-run is build a treehouse.

They kill innocent people in cold-blood and with no remorse. And yet, never does this film come across as judgemental. Their actions are wrong. We don't need to be told as such, because it's obvious.

So we're saved a sermon, and are thus able to allow our minds to be drawn-in and subsequently blown.

Mr. Havershambler (who really should start blogging again) was wrong to describe the spree killing as “wonderful”, but Badlands as a whole is indeed a wonderful film; in that it inspires such wonder and creates a glorious warming atmosphere which you don't really want to leave.

But if you stay, you might die.

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