Bella Thorne, Kyra Sedgwick, Frank Grillo
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…sun soaked and dusty thriller that sees one too many narratives fighting for attention.
Mexican Director Jorge Michel Grau (We Are What We Are) helms this sun soaked and dusty thriller that sees one too many narratives fighting for attention.
Bella Thorne (The DUFF) plays Hazel, a teenager suffering from extreme agoraphobia. Accompanied by her mother (Kyra Sedgwick), she takes a bus trip through the desert to a sanatorium for help. When the bus is attacked by armed men looking to kidnap one of the passengers, Hazel and her mother, Dee, are the only ones left alive; albeit with Dee bleeding out from a gun wound. Big Sky then follows Hazel as she struggles with her condition, in order to make it to the nearest town for help.
Hazel’s pain is emphatic as we watch her take excruciatingly small steps, all the whilst telling herself that everything will be okay. A dreamlike quality underlines her journey as she encounters stoned motorcyclists, kindly couples and vivid hallucinations. All of which works well in the film’s favour.
However, not content with this narrative thread, Big Sky also checks in on mother Dee bleeding out and reminiscing, as well as the kidnappers with their prize. Surprisingly for a thriller, each thread focuses on the themes of growing up and parenting. Hazel learns to stand on her two feet, and Dee lets her do so despite her own concerns. Even the kidnappers have their moments to reflect on whether how they were raised has made them the violent men they are today.
A series of interesting ideas in their own films, but sadly, there’s so much going on in Big Sky that the spotlight is taken away from Hazel and she becomes a bit part in her own story. When the disparate threads do finally dovetail again, the result is a finale that’s undermining to say the least.