If you spend any time on the social medias you’ve probably have seen the meme. So allow me to get it out of the way…
Ah, there we are. I’m glad we can get past it.
Besides providing a comical way for you to agree with strangers on the internet, Jeremiah Johnson is also a movie. And it is pretty darn good. What’s it about? I’m glad you asked.
Jeremiah Johnson (Robert Redford) is a veteran of the Mexican-American War who after his service, heads into the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains to take up fur trading. But, he isn’t very good at it. Barely surviving the winter months, he meets up with an eccentric but experienced trapper named Chris “Bear Claw” Lapp (Will Greer).
Bear Claw loads Johnson up with all the skills he will need to survive, including how to treat the local natives with respect. Come spring, Johnson heads out on his own again where he meets all sorts of people, including a son and a wife. In that order. Geez, this guy wants to be on his own and gains a family instead.
This is the shortest movie (1hr 56min) I’ve watched with a full Overture opening and an Intermission. Usually those are saved for the big 3hr epics. Well, maybe director Sydney Pollack felt the viewer needed a break as the movie shifts gears quite a bit.
Actually, I can’t remember the last time a movie toyed with my emotions this well. The good times are great, and the hard times are rough. You really feel what this guy goes through as he continues to have the rug pulled out from under him while trying to do the “right” thing. The only part I did not care for is the soundtrack. The lyrics for the folk tunes are on the nose and come off as comicial to me. I think I have have watched too many farce movies in the past.
But, I really appreciated how this movie goes at length to show the complexity of the native’s point of view. They have simple rules and expect you to follow them. The penelty for breaking them is barbaric to “the white man” but thier beliefs are sacred.
Pollack is really skilled at showing rather than telling too. I counted minutes going without a spoken word and yet I was able to pick up everything being said. #MarsApproved