29 July 2020 | sororos
A solid rural noir flick with a personal tone
A lot of reviewers seem to reference Quentin Tarantino to express how this film's aspirations are out of its reach. And they may be right, insofar as this movie dialogue and action are quite the same as say Pulp Fiction. The question is: was it the director's intention to actually try to equate Tarantino's film? I'm not so sure.
Yes, Tarantino's influence is quite obvious. It is gangster flick with quirky characters and where things slowly get out of hand. But are those elements Tarantino's exclusive domain? Don't other films make use of such tools in their narrative toolbox? Of course they do! My point is no film is made in a vacuum and the fact that one of the critics' main arguments is the similarities with Tarantino's work, is a testimony to the director's work.
My opinion is "Arkansas" uses some of Tarantino's themes to tell an original story, all the while creating a mood of its own. Liam's character is an interesting portrait of a smart outcast who struggles to find meaning in life. His partner offers a funny, self-deprecating look at hipster culture while never completely muting its relevant criticism on our society. It's not overdone, and it's there to make dialogue interesting and thoughtful, sparing us constant comedic or cool-sounding dialogue. The overall restrain that permeates the movie, in the rhythm, the setting as well as the acting is a very welcome change from oftentimes overly dramatic crime movies I see trying to grab my attention.
A solid 8/10 for me. I will watch it again, as soon as I get a better display (some scenes are indeed a little dark).