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Savages - Film Review

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by Mieka Black (subscribe)
I'm a writer/blogger living in Adelaide, check my blog out at
Published October 3rd 2013
savages film movie 2012 salma hayek blake lively benicio del toro crime thriller drama film
Savages 2012 Poster

The first shocking detail you should know about Savages is that it is in fact a love story. It may be at first hard to grasp this concept, as the narration by Blake Lively's character Ophelia, or as she prefers to refer to herself -"O", introduces us instantly into the possibility that she is dead with her words, "Just because I'm telling you this story, doesn't mean I'm alive at the end of it". In truth this has been marketed as a Crime/Drama/Thriller film, but if we look past the sex, drugs and violence we see a story of love.

Ophelia brings us to the origins of the story, in 'Paradise' or Moreso Laguna Beach, California . Here she lives a luxurious polyamorous lifestyle with Chon (Taylor Kitsch) and Ben (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). Chon is an ex-navy SEAL and Ben is a business/botany graduate (though more of a modern hippy). The thing they have in common? Marijuana. The pair are marijuana growers and proclaimed the best, their THC levels tend to be around 30-33% and it's because of seeds that Chon smuggles back from Afghanistan.

At the beginning of the film, Chon and O received a threatening video of several men getting decapitated or, as O likes to put it, "going all Henry the 8th". They're fearful for Ben as he's away doing charity work but as the viewers find out, he returns safely the next day. The video is from a man named Lado (Benicio Del Toro), who just happens to be an enforcer for a cartel run by Elena (Salma Hayek).

A meeting is arranged between this cartel and the two boys, a deal is proposed and rejected, causing Elena to turn to more drastic and savage methods of persuasion, such as kidnapping Ophelia and informing them they can have her back in one year's time.

From there on we are rocketed into a plot of Chon and Ben strategically fighting this cartel to regain their love O, as they both agree that she won't last more than three weeks in the cartel's captivity. We see them steal, kill and do just about everything they're required to all under the nose of their forced business partner Elena. Whilst this is happening, we see that Elena is a desperate mother who is longing for a connection with her daughter. This is a bit of foreshadowing as it's used against her later.

I don't want to give away too much, so let's just leave it at the ending is a very interesting one, a little deceptive even. Ultimately, I personally thought that all the actors gave really good performances, it was a film that I thoroughly enjoyed and would watch again and again.

It's definitely not a film for the younglings but I feel any adults looking for just an easy, enjoyable, not-too-serious crime film, will really enjoy this.

Movie Length: 131 minutes
Rating: R
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
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Why? Perfect for a night in
Cost: rental/purchase costs vary
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