Desert Road

Desert Road
Desert Road
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One of the most incredible aspects of Desert Road, is how far it says with so little. The desert may have been a great setting for this movie because at the first glance it can seem static and one-dimensional.

Furthermore, Triplett takes full advantage of natural landscape to infuse the film with a gritty verisimilitude. For instance, while using natural light for most scenes such as the Woman being scorched by sun’s rays; or even just hearing sounds like sand ruffling or rocks grinding each other’s surface, this film does make you think you are in a living desert organism.

There are no huge casts nor many locations but that doesn’t mean that it felt empty at any moment. One could not think he could make a barren film set in desert until he sees this movie.

Therefore, characters such as the Woman become more believable since they tend to be real life situations rather than fiction. Right from the beginning of Desert Road which wasn’t always filled with perfect emotional notes but you still couldn’t help but root for her as some were offbeat notes; rather her part is played through by Froseth who does an astonishing job of balancing her tenacity and hopeless longing.

This may also be due to focus on just one person: The Woman. Indeed when Desert Road starts we are introduced to her in such manner that immediately connects us with her; she is ‘the ground on which we walk’ during this whole ordeal. Great care has been put into portraying and keeping up emotional stakes for the woman as depicted in Triplett’s script however there are some instances where emotions do not resonate so well but she ends up being supported none the less.

In addition to that combination of two opposite genres- deeply human story and sci-fi mystery – creates equilibrium too. Sure enough, Desert Road isn’t sci-fi readymade but it does not leave one craving for more science fiction elements either. In probably one of the cleverest moves, Triplett allows this sci-fi universe to collapse like a whodunit and gives us hints at a terrifying climax. Its true many may predict but the different routes that it takes are an interesting way to keep people interested.

Desert Road’s cinematography is an invaluable contribution towards the overall impact of the film’s lead performance. Navia deserves great applause for his skills as a cameraman in this way. Just like the film itself remains elusive, transitioning from suspenseful drama into an artist’s journey so easily, Navi’s lens moves in similar fluidity. He captures the woman against the backdrop of desert expanses, often following her in a straight line from one end of the road to another but also leading to close-ups on her face. Our intimacy with her and our understanding of the world we are living within means that we are familiar and strange at once when it comes to this enigma filled environment (which without giving anything away makes climactic moments more satisfying).

Certainly, Desert Road does not pretend to be the first movie investigating its life as art or breaking down by distorting or blending genre conventions. However, this does not reduce it as a brilliant debut for Triplett, since he offers such a rare perspective on genre filmmaking especially when considering sci-fi films. His career as director-storyteller unfolds infinitely: as far reaching as sunlight at dawn over vast distances; we are fortunate enough to have witnessed that growth.

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