As with his Yellowstone series, the family bond between the film's protagonists is paramount. On the one hand, we have Angelina Jolie, Hannah, who seems lost and has no connections other than her working group. In a certain relationship with Hannah, Ethan, John Bernthal and his partner Allison, Medina Shengor appear.
Connor, Finn Little, the boy who lost his family. Hannah and Connor are not family, but they end up together and their relationship is as close as if they were. For Sheridan, family is not just a matter of blood relationship, but of relationships that arise as a result of life experience.
The assassins, Aidan Gillen and Nicholas Hoult, brothers who are highly professional in their tasks, also make up a curious family group. As the storyline progresses, both seem much more indecisive in completing their tasks, not because of a lack of desire, but because circumstances also put pressure on them. Even without any reference to them, they are the most convincing characters. Their evolution throughout the film is very much in line with what we see, and they leave behind hilarious moments.
Faced with the hustle and bustle of urban imagery reduced to a couple at the beginning, Sheridan once again consoles us in his films with beautiful images of large natural spaces. All of his creations, except for the debut with Vile, have a certain western look, and the proximity to the wild is proof of that.
Note that Those Who Wish Me Dead was filmed in parts of New Mexico and still manages to recreate the geography of Montana, the intended location, very well. As one of the characters comments, the feeling of seeing these landscapes for the first time, like Lewis and Clarke on their expedition to the west of the United States, must have been wonderful.
Sheridan often leaves traces of his love for the environment and the more intimate way of life. Connor achieves moments of calm and a certain satisfaction only in the company of animals and in the open air. We can also point to a scene in which the characters are outright abandoning the use of technology in favor of more primitive vehicles.
On the screen, we see how connections are established between nature and characters. Sometimes elements turn against the ideas they pursue, but in the end there is a kind of balance that ultimately proves to be beneficial for everything.
Part of this wild nature is fire, which also becomes more visible as the footage progresses. This watchtower deserves a special mention, it will remind of Firewatch for those lucky enough to enjoy the video game of 2016.
Fire becomes a liberated force that ultimately changes the configuration of events, as the images show. Noteworthy is the photographic work of Ben Richardson, Sheridan's permanent collaborator. From sweeping outer planes in green spaces to an ominous re-creation of fire devouring the same places.
The final section of "Those Who Wish Me Dead" is especially noteworthy, the mixture of digital effects with real landscapes makes up a very vivid set. And the atmosphere created by the ash is not only beautiful, but also sad. At times, the characters seem to be caught in a gray snowfall. In this atmosphere, Richardson can create scenes of incredible beauty.
Taylor Sheridan has shown in her career that she can write very interesting female characters. He's already done it in the script for Sicario, in a double director / screenwriter at Wind River or Yellowstone. Elizabeth Olsen's character in River of the Wind faced a number of problems that weighed down on her personality, as did Emily Blunt in Sicario.
Here he tries something similar with Hannah's character, but fails to complete Angelina Jolie's troubled past. Perhaps it is because of the haste to show the trauma he is suffering, or even because of the repetition he carries at the beginning. The fact is that the character could be much more interesting if this trauma had meaning for the audience.
Despite this, Angelina Jolie's interpretation is consistent and together with Finn Little they make up a very interesting lead couple. Say, the final part of Hannah's redemptive journey is far more likely than its harrowing beginning.