Paul Schrader is living a second cinematographic youth. He has managed to refine his own cinematographic style at 76 years of age and since the premiere in 2017 of the wonderful The priest He has shown to be in magnificent shape. This film, He card counter y the master gardener forman a trilogy of films with several aspects in common. All of them are carried out by middle-aged adult men who empty their thoughts through the writing of personal diaries. They are marked by traumatic events of the past and try to correct their lifestyles through methodical and rigorous work.
In this case, the protagonist’s salvation is neither God nor Blackjack, but rather a job that lends itself to precision and systemicism as a means to correct the past and lead a straight and disciplined life. Gardening a farm is the second chance for Navel Roth (played by a fascinating and haunting Joel Edgerton). to atone for their sins and live in relative peace. Peace that is cut short with the appearance of the great-niece of his boss, Maya, a teenager whom he will have to sponsor as an apprentice. The good harmony between the two will not be well seen and will mean the expulsion of both from the farm. It is at this moment that Navel will act as Maya’s protective angel while trying to get closer to her in an intimate way but inhibited by the possible revelation of the dark ghosts of her past.
Schrader builds a film that is somewhat more free, tender and hopeful and despite being present, it emerges from the forcefulness of his previous speeches. There is space for love, second chances and reconciliation in a space where violence is still latent. Who knows what the future of Schrader’s career will hold, but it’s clear that films from a director in a splendid creative state will be welcomed.
the master gardener (Paul Schrader, 2022) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️