A River Runs Through It Review
A River Runs Through It is a 1992 historical drama film directed by Robert Redford and starring Craig Sheffer and Brad Pitt in one of his earlier roles. It is based on the semi-autobiographical novel of the same name and it won an Academy Award for Best Cinematography.
It follows the growing up and life of two sons of a Presbyterian minister during World War I and afterwards through the Depression Era. The story is my main problem with this film. It is simply put boring. Excruciatingly slow-paced and dull. But that is not the major problem, the bigger problem is that nothing ever really happens here and that is really troublesome. It is one of those films that just follows a group of family members through the vast periods of time, never stopping to develop those characters or have any major plot point whatsoever. It is as boring as life itself. And the film should not be like life at all. It is one of the most tedious films I’ve watched recently, a film so dull that it can put you to sleep.
However, the movie does turn out to be solid in the end and that is mostly due to the ending and the technical aspects. I will wrote more on those aspects later, but now let’s talk about the ending. It is amazing, just breathtaking to behold. It has a wonderful theme of fishing and how it impacted their life. And I absolutely love the lines from the ending, especially the one where the protagonist states that miracles and art do not happen generally in life, there are some moments of it, but those do not last longer. That was really moving and poetic. And the way it was shot and narrated made all the more impactful. This conclusion is simply marvelous and it is a reason to see this movie along with its technical prowess. However, although it is worth the wait for that beautiful conclusion, it takes its sweet time to get there and is only twenty minutes or so in length whereas the 100 minutes of boredom preceded it .
The characters are very weak, the protagonists are okay at best, but the rest are not developed at all and even the two should have been much better developed having in mind their large screen time. The acting is on the other hand rather good and both Craig Sheffer and Brad Pitt did a solid job in their performances.
But this is a visually magnificent piece of work. The cinematography is simply stunning and it rightfully claimed its Oscar. It is filled with so many memorable images of nature and water, the scenery is just breathtaking. The costumes are also really good and the score is underrated here as it is as good as the photography. It is really moving and just beautiful, especially in its last sequences. The dialogue is solid as well. The pacing is naturally the worst with awfully slow pace and uneventful nature. But Robert Redford did quite a good job as a director here, proving once again that he is better as a director than as an actor. He really has a knack for majestic filmmaking here.