Two Men In Town Blu-ray Review
TWO MEN IN TOWN is a film that should be enjoyed like a fine wine. There is not a lot of action in it, but there is a lot to savor. It features solid acting throughout and beautiful scenery.
William Garnett (Forest Whitaker) is a man finally going home after 18 years in prison. He was a model prisoner who got out three years early for good behavior. The crime he committed was killing a sheriff’s deputy. In prison Garnett converted to Islam and is now a devout follower. In Deming, New Mexico not everyone is thrilled to see his arrival. Sheriff Agati (Harvey Keitel) was here when Garnett was plying his criminal trade. He hasn’t forgotten the murder of his deputy that left a little girl without a father. It burns him up that he didn’t serve his full time. It probably burns him up even more that the sentence was so short.
Garnett meets his parole officer Emily Smith (Brenda Blethyn) upon his release. Agent Smith is no nonsense type of person. She expects her parolees to act a certain way and everything will be all right. Agent Smith informs Garnett of his duties and tells him to stay away from Terence (Luis Guzman), an old crime associate of his.
Garnett is a guy who tries hard to suppress his anger. He had a lot of time to think about this in prison. He can be a nervous chap. He gets up suddenly when Agent Smith is conversing with him. Garnett would be best described as a person who doesn’t have great personal skills. He’s been in and out of prison for much of his life. Garnett’s anger shows itself when he smashes a television of the guy who lives across from him. He did ask him nicely to turn it down, but his patience ran thin when this was not done.
Garnett gets a minimum wage job on a farm. He’s content with the work, but isn’t too fond of the pay. His personal life looks up when he starts seeing Teresa (Dolores Heredia), a woman who works at the bank. The specter of Sheriff Agati is always around him though. Agati visits him at a diner and gives him a piece of his mind. He also drops by Teresa’s house after Garnett drops her off. It borders on harassment and Agent Smith tells him this much. Garnett also gets visits from Terence who wants him to get back in the criminal game. Garnett just wants to live a peaceful life with Teresa and leave his turbulent past behind. It is hard to do with these two antagonists getting in his way.
Director Rachid Bouchareb has painted a slow burning painting to which we are watching. I especially like the New Mexico location that is used here. There is a mass of just open space and dirt and sand. Garnett is seen on several occasions just looking out and seeing where his life went wrong. The muted browns of the landscape just underscore this perfectly. The understated music by Eric Neveux is put to good use. It never overwhelms a scene and adds just the right amount of atmosphere.
The showdown between Garnett, Sheriff Agati and Terence goes in some surprising turns. You see growth from some characters and others that are stuck in their ways. I like how it all unfolded. TWO MEN IN TOWN is a quiet understated film that has bursts of violence sprinkled in. It is a solid piece of work.
Video: New Mexico looks so beautiful on the screen and is captured quite nicely.
Audio: The sound was solid throughout.
The Fence: The Making of Two Men in Town (54:49): This feature focuses on illegal immigration, guns, the tea party and the border patrol. It also shows what life in Deming is all about. If you are looking for an in depth look at the movie, this isn’t it. To be quite frank, the movie is hardly discussed.