For Reel

Green Room (2015)
May 10, 2016, 7:11 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Jeremy Saulnier
3.5 Stars
Green RoomAs he did with Blue Ruin, director Jeremy Saulnier presents Green Room as a sort of thinking-man’s midnight movie, offering the same visceral thrills while making an argument about the never-ending cycle of violence. None of the characters wrapped up in the stand-off that forms the conflict of Green Room want to be in the situation—even the skinheads are more practical than sadistic—and yet the escalating tension promises that nothing will be resolved until one side is wiped out. And yet to include antagonists with very specific politics is surely no accident, and their hate speech serves as a direct contrast with the punk band. That is, whereas a punk band sings about their resistance against authority, the skinheads’ form of political subversion has a more active and legitimately violent agenda. It can be argued that the situation might have been avoided had the band not turned a blind eye to the venue they’d be performing in. The very act of associating with violence meant that violence had the potential to breed and grow, ultimately consuming even those who were only guilty by association. Saulnier is not one to have his characters philosophize, however, and the straight-forward rawness of his thrills do work on their own terms. Moreover, as with Blue Ruin, Saulnier shows a talent for world-building—his characters have very specific language sets and social dynamics, and only through repetition and character actions do audiences become privy to the intricacies.

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