We have all been young and stupid in one way or another, most of us have had a run in with the law either because of reckless or noisy behaviour or for a blatant disregard for the law and those who ‘hold up’ the law. For those who do it with political and righteous intention, it is assumed that because the law is wrong, people who stood against it would be pardoned and redeemed. Unfortunately for most of us that is not the case.
Mimi Lurie: The struggle doesn’t end just because you got tired of it.
Nick Sloan: I didn’t get tired of it. I grew up.
Mimi Lurie: Well, we promised each other we weren’t going to do that.
Nick Sloan: Yeah, but it happened.
Robert Redford has made a very large name for himself as an actor and acclaimed director. The Company You Keep, his latest offering, a political thriller that follows the 30 year search to apprehend wanted former anti-Vietnam war militants accused of bank robbery and murder.
After Sharon Solarz (Susan Sarandon), a former member of the Weather Underground movement, is seized on route to turning herself in in hope of capturing these fugitives’ surges and the man hunt for the rest of the Weather Underground members is revived. Nick Sloan (Robert Redford), who has been practicing law under the name of Jim Grant for 3 decades is forced out of hiding after being exposed by a local reporter. As the FBI track Sloan, this reporter, Ben Shepard (Shia LaBeouf), seems to have an uncanny ability to access information and people that many others do not. In Sloan’s desperation to protect his daughter he devises a way to keep her out of the public eye and heads off to find the only person who could prove his innocence, his ex-lover, Mimi Lurie (Julie Christie).
This suspense, action and crime thriller really centres on the individual characters desperate search for redemption from the past. There is no major ‘wow’ factor in this movie, with so much potential for contemporary parallels within this film it could have moved beyond just another rehashing of American history. The acting certainly holds the film together well enough and that makes an enjoyable one-time watch.
What can be said is that it is very interesting to watch a youth of the present exploring the actions of the youth of the past. You can clearly see Shepard’s mind working through the actions, consequences and risks and creating his own opinion of who were also fighting to expose the truth, just as he is, in a different age.
Ben Shepard: They did unforgiveable stuff but you’ve got to appreciate the commitment.