Film review: Whitewash

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Tayla Scott, Contributor Ω

Image courtesy micro_scope films

Image courtesy micro_scope films

The film Whitewash was engrossed with tension, drama and humour as the main character fights to survive in the freezing wilderness, tries to stay hidden from the police and battles with the crumbling state of his own sanity.

Taking place in rural Quebec, the film gets right into the plot with the main character Bruce, portrayed by Thomas Haden Church, accidentally killing a man with his snowplow. Before even three sentences have been uttered in the film, the manslaughter takes place, forcing Bruce, an alcoholic and a widower, to drive drunkenly into the woods after burying the man he just killed in the snow.

At the beginning of the film, I viewed Bruce as a careless brute. But my view rapidly changed as flashbacks revealed events prior to the accident, and soon I viewed Bruce as good hearted.

There are many scenes that had me and the rest of the audience laughing. I was surprised and impressed at how humour was painted into the scenes as a way to relieve the viewer of the drama, creating a balanced mix.

Oddly, Bruce never encounters any police in the film, which made the threat of getting caught less intense. However, the personification of the snowplow allows us to see his sanity begin to vanish, and it became an ominous force in Bruce’s life. The lack of police encounters is compensated by the snowplow’s presence, and it serves as a unique part of the storyline.

The ending confused and disappointed me because of how ambiguous it is. He had been so miserable and close to death in the woods – I wanted to see what happened to him, and some questions are left unanswered.

Overall I really enjoyed this film. It showed beautiful scenes of the two sides of winter: quiet snow-laden forest and violent blizzards. It had great actors, a funny and endearing script and beautiful scenes. I would encourage anyone to see it.