REVIEW: STILLWATER (2021) Ever heard of the tumultuous life story of a young American woman


Ever heard of the tumultuous life story of a young American woman named Amanda Knox who received a prison sentence by an Italian state court on charges of murder who, after several years of serving time and various media coverage that often cornered her, was later released because it was not proven. guilty ? Knox’s nearly decade-long journey through the investigation process has inspired the release of a number of books and films, including a documentary entitled Amanda Knox (Rod Blackhurst, Brian McGinn, 2016) released by Netflix . The incident that happened to Knox also served as an inspiration for Tom McCarthy (Spotlight , 2015) in developing the script for his latest film, Stillwater , with screenwriters Marcus Hinchey ( All Good Things , 2010), Thomas Bigedain ( A Prophet , 2009), and Noé Debré ( Dheepan , 2015) – although Knox later criticized McCarthy and Stillwater are considered to have taken commercial advantage of distorting the facts for his tragic story .

Stillwater begins its storyline when Bill Baker ( Matt Damon ) travels from the city of Stillwater, Oklahoma, United States to Marseille, France to visit his daughter, Allison Baker ( Abigail Breslin ), who for the past five years has been in prison to serve a prison sentence of 10 years. nine years on charges of murder he never admitted to having committed. During her visit, Allison Baker revealed that she had new clues about the person suspected of being the real murderer. Allison Baker then asks her father to help her meet her defense attorney, Leparq ( Anne Le Ny).), to investigate the new lead. Unfortunately, after being met by Bill Baker, Leparq refused to be involved again and asked Bill Baker and Allison Baker to accept the sentence that had been given. Not wanting to disappoint the princess, Bill Baker begins to piece together clues that can help prove his daughter’s innocence.

Stillwater begins his storytelling move fairly convincingly. The script for this film slowly introduces the character of Bill Baker and the conditions of his daily life before starting to present and develop the main conflict involving the character of Allison Baker and several supporting characters such as Virginie ( Camille Cotin ) and Maya ( Lilou Siauvaud).). From the building of the story, McCarthy seems to want to emphasize how Bill Baker’s character is to the audience – a working man who does not have certain privileges, has a number of dark problems in the past, but has a strong determination to show his concern for the characters he plays. dear. The characterization that is firmly adhered to by the film’s script and becomes a crucial part of the various conflicts that will later be described in the second half of the film’s sequel.

McCarthy is also able to provide an increase in the intensity of the story in an observant manner and never feels rushed. Stillwater begins to appear with the intensity of the story that feels maximum while holding the audience’s attention tightly when the storyline of this film begins to focus on the meeting between Bill Baker’s character and Allison Baker which leads to the storyline about the efforts made by Bill Baker’s character to become a detective for legal cases. which her daughter is dealing with. McCarthy really increases the intensity of the tension of the story line to the maximum in the third half of the film’s storytelling. With a story execution that might remind some viewers of Prisoners(Denis Villenueve, 2013), McCarthy makes the element of suspense in the latter half of the film as the culmination of a series of mysteries and clues that have been presented by Stillwater since the beginning .

With a story duration that reaches 140 minutes, Stillwater feels sluggish in the middle of the story when this film chooses to focus on the friendship that develops into a romance between Bill Baker’s character and Virginie’s character. It never feels boring but, with a fairly minimal conflict movement, it feels like this part of the story will feel better if the narrative is condensed. Despite some shakiness in his narrative, Stillwateralways able to appear attractive thanks to Damon’s charismatic appearance. Damon makes Bill Baker’s character so easy to like – despite some characterizations that make him look shallow at times. The relationship that exists between Bill Baker’s character with Virginie’s and Maya’s characters is also able to give a warm touch to the atmosphere of this film’s story thanks to the convincing chemistry between Damon and Cotin and Siauvaud.

As a film that gets its conflict inspiration from true figures and stories, the character of Allison Baker itself does not get that much storytelling space. The relationship between the character and Bill Baker’s character is more often present through the narrative of Bill Baker’s character than through the visual depiction of the film. Breslin doesn’t disappoint, especially when Stillwater reveals a twist at the end of the story. At the same time, Stillwater will clearly be able to come with a deeper emotional exploration if Allison Baker’s character gets a more mature dig.