Reviews: Echoes of War

Heather gives her great impressions of an excellent period piece.

"Awwww, Rosco. You done did
go and burn the Confederate flag."

Every so often, you watch a movie not expecting much; maybe to pass the time or you just feel like watching a movie you haven’t heard of – Kane Senes’ Echoes of War is that movie.

During a time where “going to work” meant chopping wood for shelter and warmth, hunting and cleaning animals for food, fetching water from a stream, and going off to war to fight for your country knowing you probably won’t be coming back, Echoes of War sends you into the post-Civil War era in Texas. That’s right, the Confederates. The once fruitful place is now slowly drying up as families cope with lost loved ones and dying businesses. A man returns to a place where he thinks he can be normal and carry on his life like before going off to war, but he is quickly engulfed with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). Echoes of War is a reminder of the horrific repercussions of war. It must’ve been unimaginable to go off to war in a time when all you had for light was fire and the sun, to survive a barbaric event and just go home. A story about simple life in the prairie is quickly flipped on its head as you watch two families quarrel.

The first thing to take note of is how gorgeously shot this movie is. Cinematography captures what seem to be endless untouched fields of tall grass and wild flowers, making you feel like you are in the late 1800’s. The set production team puts you in the heart of the south of this time and you wonder how anyone ever lived this way. Music and editing are two important components to making a great movie and Echoes of War is oozing with profession. The score is meek, but perfectly used. The editing and camera work is artistic and keeps you glued to the screen. 

"By lamplight, we shall be rednecks."
Also keeping you glued to the screen is James Badge Dale, who plays the Confederate war vet Wade. A charming and pleasant man, who tries to hide the monster inside from his family, but loses control and recedes back into war mentality. It’s sad to watch him fight himself because he knows he’s passed the point of no return, but just can’t stop. Another excellent performance is given by Ethan Embry. Echoes of War is a long way away from Can’t Hardly Wait. Remember that movie!? Stretching his arms for the role of Seamus Riley, Embry dominates and should stick to more serious acting, he is a great actor; underrated even maybe.

John Chriss and Kane Senes co-wrote a short and sweet movie. The only reason Echoes of War doesn’t get The Movie Sleuth’s rare bloody bullet rating is because the running time is 99 minutes. This could have easily been a two and a half hour long movie and I wish it was. Just like its ending, it was the only way out.

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