Wild Indian: The Sundance Film about the suffering of two individuals

This Sundance film is a modern illustration of the biblical tale of Cain and Abel (the sons of Adam and Eve). It is divided into two timelines—1980s and 2019. The initial phase reflects the childhoods of two individuals and their horrific mistakes. The next chapter, 2019, takes us through how a past mistake affected their adult lives.

Wild Indian (2021)
Genres: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Cast: Michael Greyeyes, Chaske Spencer, Kate Bosworth
Wild Indian Sundance Film Aesthetic Poster
Image: Vertical Entertainment

1980s (childhood)
Makwa's bruised face and quietness reveal a lot about his family atmosphere and his miserable childhood. Makwa (Michael Greyeyes) and Ted-O (or Teddo played by Chaske Spencer) are cousins and partners in the crime. All the hatred that Makwa's abusive father invested in him burst out on the innocent. Unfortunately, Ted-O witnessed that and reluctantly cooperated with him. Makwa was always quite emotionless and used to dreadful things, but Ted-O was completely shocked after that incident.

2019 (adulthood or consequences from childhood mistakes)
Makwa has become Michael now. A big house in California, playing golf, a beautiful wife (Kate Bosworth), an adorable child, all show that Makwa has somewhat left the past behind.
On the other hand, the unwanted prison tattoo on Ted-O's face tells the story of his suffering. He is not the same person anymore, his life is ruined. Ted-O could have lived a normal life if that incident hadn't happened.
Ted-O was looking for forgiveness throughout his life. When Ted-O met Makwa after a long time, he felt that he was the only one carrying the guilt all these years. Then, some unexpected events took place.

It seems the protagonist is living a successful life, but mentally he is still struggling to get back to normal. The climax proves that Makwa has not changed even after so many years, he is the same person from the woods that day.

It's hard to root for the protagonist. He managed to escape from his wrongdoings. The bad guy must be punished for his wrong deeds. But here the director tries to blame the protagonist's traumatic childhood for his wrongdoings, that doesn't seem fair. It's not morally uplifting. I felt bad for Ted-O, he deserved better.

Michael Greyeyes is accurate for this Indigenous film, yet his character is melancholic. This film ends in an unsettling way, perhaps because it wants to agree with the Cain and Abel story. It's a slow burn, but the cinematography kept me going. It is watchable once.

Wild Indian (2021) Official Trailer


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