Movie Moment Tribute; Jeff Bridges and Chris Pine – Hell or High Water (2016)

BRIDGES AND PINE

There aren’t many actors out there whether in Hollywood or in any other movie industry who can boast of an incredible 70-plus movie resume throughout their entire career and still consider themselves part and parcel of the business. Additionally, there aren’t many sub-40 actors out there whether in Hollywood or in any other movie industry who can boast of featuring in as diverse film genres and still consider themselves part and parcel of the business. Well, Jeff Bridges‘ and Chris Pine‘s careers definitely fit the respective descriptions ; terming their on-screen talent as just great would indeed be an understatement.

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The two talented performers starred in one of my best films of 2016, Hell or High Water alongside Ben Foster whose incredible performance should not go unnoticed. This movie is easily one of my best Western films of all time and I’m sure that it’s definitely part of the conversation for any film fanatic who has seen it.

Set in West Texas, the plot is basically centered on Tobby Howard (Chris Pine) and Tanner Howard (Ben Foster); two brothers born into poverty who have resorted to a life of robbing banks and stores so as to sustain their needs and wants. Their actions attract the attention of two Texas Rangers in Alberto Parker (Gil Birmingham) and Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges); the latter of whom is most hellbent to find and put the two criminals in their place. Later on, Hamilton’s desire to find them comes to fruition, at least one of them, and it leads to a thorough exchange of fire that sees his partner Alberto killed in action by Tanner. In retaliation, Bridges’ character outwits Tanner and manages to shoot him from long range right on the head hence ending the tense shootout.

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In the final scene, a retired Hamilton manages to track down Tobby to his home where he confronts him on the front porch in quite a subtle but weighty man-to-man conversation. Here it is.

This scene right here is the perfect culmination of the events that unfolded in the entire movie. On one hand, we have Hamilton who came in search of answers on why he, unlike his brother, would go through all the trouble of robbing multiple banks with little to nothing to show for it. Also, he blames him for having set the various robbery missions in motion in the first place, which eventually lead to the death of Birmingham’s character.

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On the other hand, we have Tobby who is justifying his and his brother’s actions as a means to end the poverty that has been passed down from one generation to another in their family. The conversation could have turned out to be more than it went on to be but the mutual understanding of the characters on why they did what they did was enough not to warrant any violence.

Jeff Bridges and Chris Pine’s mannerisms as their characters, the riveting long-takes, the great ambient sounds of birds chirping in the background, the heartfelt dialogue as well as the peaceful setting made this scene very appealing to watch. The fact that it is the final scene in the movie is just the cherry on top.

-Thomas Kitinya.

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