THE BURNING PLAIN
Release Date: September 18, 2009
Starring: Charlize Theron, John Corbett,
Kim Basinger, Jose Maria
Yazpik, Robin Tunney, Gray
Eubank, Fernanda Romero, Kacie
Thomas, Brett Cullen, and
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 111 minutes
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures
Director: Guillermo Arriaga
Executive Producer: Todd Wagner, Mark Cuban, and
Producer: Walter Parkes and Laurie
Writer: Guillermo Arriaga
Address Comments To:Bill Banowski, CEO, Magnolia Pictures
1614 West 5th Street
Austin, TX 78703
Eamon Bowles, President, Magnolia Pictures
43 West 27th Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10001
Phone: (212) 924-6701; Fax: (212) 924-6742
Email: info@ magpictures.com
The story is told by revealing only small bits of information at a time with multiple surprise twists. Sylvia is a troubled woman who goes from one sexual encounter to another until she is forced to confront her past. Maria is a young girl who, when her father is injured in a small plane crash, discovers her own mother for the first time. Gina, a wife and mother of four, slips out to have an affair with a married man. Two teenagers, Mariana and Santiago, become romantically entangled when trying to understand and process that his father and her mother were killed in an explosion while they were having an affair.
The characters are very dimensional with much richness. Just when it seems a character is acting odd or unusual, the filmmakers drop one more bit of information which helps you understand them better. The performances are top notch with the directing very emotional.
The only issue not clear is why Gina had the affair in the first place, which sets all these stories into motion. Her home life seems good, and she has a loving family. There are hints such as her trucker husband is perhaps gone too often, but it’s not clear.
THE BURNING PLAIN has a strong Christian, biblical worldview with prayers being said and discussion of prayer. A character feels remorse and guilt about committing a murder which leads her to seek forgiveness about another issue, but the murder is never resolved. It is hinted that she will confess it to her estranged husband, but it’s still not resolved. Finally, the terrible effects of adultery are seen impacting the lives of two families and subsequent generations.
While the drama is very emotional and moving, there are a number of issues to watch out for in this movie. The first is that there are many scenes of graphic, depicted sexual encounters. There also is much upper female nudity and plenty of foul language. Furthermore, the discovery that their parents had an affair together prompts the teenagers to “act out” the affair in a strange way.
Because of these issues, the negative content in THE BURNING PLAIN becomes excessively graphic and ultimately unsatisfying spiritually and morally.
The characters in THE BURNING PLAIN are very multi-dimensional, with much richness. The acting is also excellent. There is a strong Christian worldview with prayers being said and discussion of prayer. A character feels remorse and guilt about committing a murder, which leads her to seek forgiveness about another issue, but the murder is never resolved. The terrible effects of adultery are seen impacting the lives of two families and subsequent generations. Sadly, THE BURNING PLAIN contains many graphic lewd scenes, nudity and plenty of foul language. Regrettably, the movie’s negative content becomes excessive.