Tuesday, May 17, 2016


From the late 1970s to the early 1990s, Harrison Ford was easily the biggest box-office draw. (With the original Star Wars trilogy and the first three Indiana Jones movies being released within that time frame, it's easy to see why.) But his fare of that time was strictly of the blockbuster variety.

In 1985, he starred in Peter Weir's Witness. It was proof  that Ford was capable of more than just Han Solo and Indiana Jones. (Further proven by him getting an Oscar nomination as a result.) He may be known for his various action movies but Witness proved he could act.

But what else is there to Witness than Ford's performance? As the title implies, it's a film of a criminal nature. But it's also a fish out of water story, admittedly the kind that could collapse if in the wrong hands. However in Weir's hands, he makes it work.

Witness also makes for a good examination of how people live. Being primarily set within an Amish community, it depicts how far from the world of electronics and menial attitudes toward life it is. Seeing those of a more pious nature retains a sense of restored faith (so to speak).

Long story short, Witness is thoroughly solid from beginning to end. However there is one element of the story that feels off-putting, especially considering the details established early on in the film. (Hollywood nonsense strikes again!) Still, what Weir does with the film's other elements makes up for it a considerable amount (but just barely).

My Rating: ****1/2

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