Deliverance is mixture of drama and horror. The film manages to show how a group of ordinary men who are just taking are short break can get wound up in such meaningless acts of terror. The first half hour of Deliverance is like watching a different film to the one that comes out latter. The first scenes show these normal men just having a good time and some beautiful imagery of the American land that surrounds them. The scenes after this are very different, the film all of a sudden turns out to be very dark and asks the viewer “What would would you do in this situation?” This is disturbing and shows just how when people are not around the cops become cruel and meaningless. This all leads up to showing how human nature can be so evil when left to it’s bitter beginning.
The film is definitely not one of entertainment value and is a film a film to be studied and thought about long after the chilling and depressing closing credits. What makes the film so depressing is that the action that causes everything to kick off is meaningless and so immoral that it is heart wrenching. You also feel as though the film is teasing you with the purposely inappropriate banjo music as the soundtrack. Deliverance is very different to most films, it’s not afraid to put the viewer through such tense and nail-biting situations. Not only is the film disturbing, it is also very sad. It shows how a group of innocent men’s lives are changed from something so pointless and pitiless. The atmosphere creates a real feeling of menace and lurking evil.
Through all this the film is one amazingly harrowing experience and really does make you think about the ideas of how men can change when put through life and death situations. The men’s stress makes them turn into something different to their normal self’s, they have to become almost in-human to defeat the threatening evil that hangs over them like a shadow. Every single one of these men’s lives are automatically altered through such a terrifying experience. You never know what’s round the corner and in the end the men are fighting to survive.
The acting by the cast is tremendous and Jon Voight and Burt Reynolds show very intense attitudes and you really know the kind of people they are by the end of the movie. The film is a character study, it’s a real life horror movie and a great image of isolation captured on lens. The direction techniques are very precise and capture the beautiful American landscape where this terrible journey occurs. The film also perfectly displays a culture that is in isolation, most often called “hillbillies”. The film for sure makes you have a real fear and loathing for the kind portrayed in the film. Of course not all of them are crazed loonies, but the film does put that attitude across. The techniques of camera shots used show the stress, anger, destruction, terror and beauty wonderfully.
The scripting for the film is perfect and is filled with so many memorable scenes and imagery. The image of Burt Reybolds holding up the bow and focus on his dilated pupil, is a very cold image. Deliverance is certainly one of the best films ever made, it mixes so many techniques to create a masterpiece. Watch it now, but be prepared for something to make you think and that is very different.