The Salvation (DVD)

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The Salvation (DVD)

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Review of "The Salvation (DVD)"

published 23/01/2016 | gothic_moon
Member since : 23/09/2005
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Super
Pro Brilliant performance from Mikkelsen, well produced with atmosphere
Cons A bit quiet perhaps, a tad predictable, not always as engaging as it could have been
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"Mikkelsen's Performance Saved This Modern Western"

A Dirty-Looking Mads. Taken from a Google image search.

A Dirty-Looking Mads. Taken from a Google image search.

The Salvation falls within the Western / drama genres and was directed, and in part written, by Kristian Levring. Levring isn't one I've come across before but he's worked on a couple of other Danish productions. His profile pic on IMDB is rather odd; his face is in the dark and there's a rainbow band of colour across his eyes. Just thought you'd like to know that.

… Premise ...

We are thrown in to 1870s America, where we meet Jon, a softly-spoken Danish man who has settled in America with his brother Peter, hoping for a fresh start in the 'free' country. He awaits the arrival of his wife and young son, so they can finally be together as a family. But things go wrong quickly when their travelling company, aboard a horse and cart type affair, turns nasty. Jon does everything he can to save his family, but after he's thrown out of the carriage, he's too late to catch up with them. Jon takes revenge and travels back towards home to his brother, but his revenge sparks the deadly fury of Henry Delarue, the notorious bad guy in town. It seems Delarue rules the roost and it's not long before everyone's out for Jon's blood. The question is, will Jon, fuelled by grief and anger, be able to single-handedly take on such a gang and survive?

… // …

The premise is very straightforward and is one about vengeance. It's nothing overly new or original, but it's the characters, the politics within the town, that make it engaging. The atmosphere is built well and almost smoulders by the end, keeping you hanging on to find out how things will ultimately end for both Jon and the outlaws. Predictable? Perhaps, but enjoyable nonetheless because whilst I had my suspicions how things would play out, I still couldn't be sure as it has the ability to take a few twists and turns.

This spaghetti Western in the form of a Danish production actually seems to hit the nail on the head in terms of what we want and expect to see from the gun-slinging genre: Heel spurs, revenge, the quiet townsfolk, a take-no-mess baddie, the dusty in-the-sticks atmospheric surroundings.

The cast includes Mads Mikkelsen (Jon Jensen), Eva Green (Madelaine), Mikael Persbrandt (Peter Jensen), Eric Cantona (Corsican) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Henry Delarue). It's interesting to note that the key players here, Jon, Madelaine perhaps, and the baddy Delarue are quite well known to the American film industry. This adds a sense of familiarity to the film, which I enjoyed.

The cast played their roles well, with a sense of authenticity and believability. Mikkelsen, who admittedly I think very highly of anyway, gave a poignant and powerful performance here. I found him to be incredibly easy to watch, I felt sympathy for his character, and his grief and anger were almost palpable. Mikkelsen seamlessly blends in to the era and the surroundings, and in my opinion, makes The Salvation a film worth watching. Yes, I like Mikkelsen anyway, but his performance here really was gripping and genuine. And yes, I seem to be developing some rather strange attraction to Mr Mikkelsen; be warned, in case you reach the same fate after watching a few films with him in, including The Salvation.

This was quite a quiet film; despite the action, rifle fire and brutal killing, it retained a hushed appeal. Perhaps that's partly due to the seemingly minimal dialogue, and what was spoken by the protagonist was in Mikkelsen's subdued tones. It was a little dry in that respect, but fans of gun-slinging Westerns should enjoy that. It had an overall good quality feel to it, where you can tell time and money went in to the scenes, settings and direction. The soundtrack complimented the scenarios and added to the atmosphere, throwing us in to the dusty 1870s, fraught with fear, sweat and blood.

All in all, this was an interesting mix of spaghetti Western with a Danish twist, action and emotion; whilst I found it a little dry at times, likely as Westerns aren't my 'thing', the poignant performance from Mikkelsen made it worth watching.

DVD released 2015, rated Certificate 15, running time 92 minutes.
DVD selling on Amazon for £6.90.

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Comments on this review

  • justarube published 01/11/2016
    well reviewed
  • RICHADA published 26/01/2016
    Very good review, just not my cup of tea. R.
  • euphie published 25/01/2016
    vh :o)
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Product Information : The Salvation (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

Actor(s) (Last name, First name): Malden, Karl

DVD Region: DVD

Classification: 15 years and over

Director(s) (Last name, First name): Levring, Kristian

Production Year: 2014

EAN: 5051892191074

Video Category: Feature Film

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Listed on Ciao since: 20/01/2016