“That which is yours, will always return to you. That which you take, will always be taken from you.”
Seraphim Falls, the 2006 western staring Pierce Brosnan and Liam Neeson explores the relationship between two flawed yet justified men. Set a few years after the Civil War, Neeson’s character Carver is hunting Brosnan’s character Gideon. Armed with a band of men, Carver wounds Gideon early on, rendering his left arm useless throughout the film. The two men travel through snow covered mountains all the way to the deserted desert landscape. It’s clear from the beginning that Carver is hunting Gideon due to a personal vendetta. However, what that vendetta is, does not get explained until the last few minutes of the film. All we’re clued into is that something happened at a place, called Seraphim Falls.
The set-up for the film really couldn’t be simpler. Gideon is wounded and is trying to escape Carver. That’s basically all there is to the modern time storyline. Not to say that because the plot is simplistic that the story or film suffers, in fact I found it refreshing that there wasn’t much more involved than this. Obviously the clear question throughout the film is what happened in this town? I won’t spoil the reveal but it’s something that leads both characters to seems as though they are the protagonist of the film which I loved. Not knowing who to route for in a film is fantastic if it’s pulled off correctly. Here we have our two main characters both feeling justified for their actions, and for me it completely worked.
Just a quick bit of discussion on the title of the film. Now, clearly using the word Seraphim wasn’t accidental. Seraphim is a term for an angel and the title of the film is essentially Angel Falls. This can be taken as the two men are angelic and they fall from grace in their pursuit to kill one another. Also, the trivia section in IMDB states that: In theology the name Seraphim refers to a type of angel. Therefore, one could conclude the 2 main characters are angels that have fallen from grace. They battle each other from the mountain tops (Heaven) to the hot desert (Hell). Either way, it’s an interesting aspect to the film that can be seen if you’re looking for it. This is another of the films that’s a fun way to spend a couple of hours but isn’t exactly reaching towards much other than being a solid revenge, pursuit film.