Road to Salina (1970)

road-to-salina

Road to Salina (1970)

Director:Georges Lautner

Stars:Mimsy Farmer, Robert Walker Jr., Ed Begley,Rita Hayworth

Jonas (Walker Jr) is on the road to Salina. He stops at a gas station/restaurant and its owner, Mara (Hayworth), is struck by his resemblance to her dead son, Rocky (Porel). He decides to stay on and meets Mara’s friend Warren (Begley) and Rocky’s sister Billie (Farmer), but dark facts are to be revealed about the death of Rocky.

Excellent & compelling little thriller by Lautner who manages to utilize all his assets to the maximum.First asset has to be the excellent storyline featuring a pretty twisted main subject and lots of jaw-dropping details.Even an incest sub plot is used with excellent results.Then the location which radiates of desolation and loneliness is also very atmospheric and last but not least the performances by the lead actors are superb.

However “Road to Salina” doesn’t deliver the goods at once.At first it strikes the viewer as a pretty common place drama film but as the plot unwinds,the atmosphere gets more impenetrable and the film manages to captivate the viewer.Mimsy Farmer easily steals the show here,as her portrayal of troubled Billie radiates of charisma.Personally I’ve never seen a more adequate performance by Farmer(More by Barbet Schroeder is a strong contender though).Rita Hayworth’s acting in this movie has a tragic quality,as she stands pretty much helpless and powerless watching the shenanigans of her children,especially Billie.Hayworth’s heroine is the epitome of loneliness and “retirement”.This was one of her last performances and the fact that a couple of years after this film she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease gives an even more tragic aura to the proceedings.

The climax of the film doesn’t come as a surprise,as the story is very well put together and progresses in a very neat manner.However the inevitability of the tragic ending compels the viewer and wraps up suitably a story of some doomed if flawed and frail characters.

All in all,this movie is a great sample of some very well done film making by Lautner.It’s very 70ies looking,perhaps even dated for certain cinephiles,but if my opinion is worth anything,this is part of its charm.Trying to draw parallels between “A road to Salina” and some modern drama/thriller is a doomed-from-the-start attempt since the codes,subject matters and the worldwide cinema language has changed beyond recognition during the last couple of decades.Contemporary films seem to be rawer in their depiction of reality ,often retaining a documentary style.This is not the case with Lautner’s movie but if you fancy a trip to some Seventies nostalgia and you are an old school cinema fan, then you are in for a ride.

Γαλλικός Thriller κολοσσός με την Μίμσυ Φάρμερ να σπάει κοντέρ παραδίδοντας μια ερμηνεία ράπισμα.Η ιστορία ξεδιπλώνεται τεμπέλικα και το πρώτο μισάωρο μοιάζει με ένα καλοφτιαγμένο μεν,τυπικό δε δράμα χαρακτήρων.Αλλά όταν το φυτίλι καεί και η βόμβα σκάσει,δεν υπάρχει γυρισμός.Με μια παράλληλη πλοκή βασισμένη στην αιμομιξία να πριονίζει τις αντιστάσεις του θεατή λεπτό προς λεπτό και με τις ερμηνείες των ηθοποιών να στηρίζουν καίρια την ταινία,το τέλος έρχεται και είναι αρκούντως σκοτεινό και πεσιμιστικό,πλήν καθαρτήριο .

Ο Λωτνέρ έφτιαξε κάτι πολύ σπουδαίο εδώ πέρα.Βοηθούμενος και από τις θετικές συγκυρίες,αφού όλα στο παρόν φιλμ δουλεύουν ρολόι,έκανε μια ταινία της οποίας τα 100 λεπτά περνάνε νερό και στο τέλος σε κάνει να θέλεις κι άλλο.Η ιστορία του περιπλανώμενου ο οποίος καταλήγει να υποκαθιστά το χαμένο γιό μιας μεσόκοπης ιδιοκτήτριας ταβέρνας σε ερημική τοποθεσία είναι από μόνη της αλλόκοτη.Το τι συμβαίνει όμως όταν ο δήθεν γιός συνάπτει ερωτικές σχέσεις με τη δήθεν αδελφή του,είναι κάτι που πρέπει να το δείτε.

Πιστέψτε με…χαμένοι δε θα βγείτε…

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