these chess pieces are real..
Granik’s version of the book, “The Abandonment” written by Peter Rock, has the finiteness that makes you sink in its abyss. The finite number of characters, the finite amount of segments and its that repetitiveness that weaves out a poem that requires spatial of a larger margin, hence what she does in here is, tugs out all the mechanics for it to float freely without any strings tied. This father and daughter exploration is cathartic to the core and communicates neatly, not for its positive emotions but the negative, that it doesn’t flinch to project.
Since, if Foster has all the tactics to survive that he teaches to Mackenzie, he also has plethora of emotional burden of his forsaken and untouched past and that is not something which is supposed to be passed upon. It tells an honest tale of Foster and Mackenzie and their journey across the woods where the zeal to live by nature, costs each other unfeasible terms.
No matter how artificial it gets at times, the touch of nature is imputed in each frame. And Granik does it by keeping both her lead character together even when they are separated; either their notions can be filtered out or their vocab. The characters in here doesn’t need the element of surprise to scare, its their looks, their habits, their stillness, that leaves us shook.
The primary reason why we are afraid of these simple characters, is because we start to care for them; if someone gets wounded, he or she will be taken care of with a first aid kit. There is very little skin in the telltale, it wants you to scrape off and feel the blood and sweat of the game; these chess pieces are real. Foster hesitates to look Mackenzie in the eye while she gazes deep into his, this is a performance of life for both of the actors screaming through the entire feature.
If those buzzing of the bees weren’t loud enough for you, listen to it again, Granik has a story to tell you. She is not here to convince you to look closely and listen carefully, she demands it with her apt finesse on executing such a behemoth concept. Mackenzie’s character is bred out of raw woods, hence her nature is to reside and breathe in the current moment, she is ready to take what’s hers if be needed, she will earn for it and she will take it.
On the other hand, Foster is chiseled with experience and lives in the past, which allows him to spend the entire breathe of his on preparing the trajectory of the future. Combining these two, the makers leave them around greenery (it is beautifully shot and has supremely appealing bright colors that grabs your attention since the beginning) and observes the retaliation that their chemistry spreads.
This is a work of nothing but sheer passion that ought to fuel such a fragile concept and Leave No Trace will leave no opportunity whatsoever to heal your wounds.