Movie Review - The Mountain (2019)
Director and co-writer Rick Alverson gives us a vague rendering of who Freeman was and what he was doing, but the movie never truly relates what Freeman's victims experienced or even who they were. We never truly empathize with his victims. This is emblematic of how Alverson shoots this film. He shoots it on actual 35 mm. He frames it in Academy ratio, which could help to bring the audience closer to the subjects or even objects of the narrative. However, Alverson utilizes mostly wide shots or mediums. Literally through his framing, Alverson keeps us at a distance from the victims and the people here.
Jeff Goldblum (Thor: Ragnarok and Jurassic Park) co-stars as Wally Fiennes, the doctor who knew Andy's mom. He arrives after Andy's father dies and offers Andy a job as his assistant. Wally is going on the road to various mental hospitals to perform lobotomies. He needs an assistant to carry supplies, take dictation on a typewriter and also take photographs on a Polaroid Land Camera Model 95. He's only viewed through the eyes of Andy. He's slightly warmer than Andy in his personality. Yet, there is a detachment to him. He seems more engaged with being a womanizer and bedding as many ladies as he can along the way than he is with his patients.
Given that 40-percent of Freeman's patients were gay, it basically makes Freeman a huge homophobic person who was literally crippling or killing gay people through his procedure. The fact that this film doesn't really explore or refute Freeman's homophobia is probably this film's chief flaw. Alverson's script suggests that Andy might be gay or has same-sex attraction. In the opening, Andy uncovers a room underneath or in the back of the ice rink with a series of female nude pictures, but the one on which he focuses is a picture of someone who is possibly intersex. Later, Andy seems to leer at shirtless men. Andy is seen having sex with a girl, but he could still be bisexual or queer in some way.
Not Rated but contains full-frontal nudity and intense sexuality.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 49 mins.
Available on DVD and VOD, including Hulu.