Thanks to vcb for pointing us to the new trailer for The Burning Plain. Having seen the movie a few weeks ago, I can say that you won”t find the usual intricate structure and scripty flourishes we’ve come to expect from other screenplays by Guillermo Arriaga (Babel, 21 Grams, Amores perros). For his directorial debut, Arriaga streamlines his story with a minimal amount of chronology shuffling, laying out a relatively straightforward narrative with only a few flashbacks.
The lack of puzzle-piece intercutting opens up the movie for a less claustrophobic atmosphere than we ordinarily feel in one of Arriga’s labyrinths of predestination. I think it allows his characters to development beyond being pawns of fate into a more naturalistic emotional zones. For me, The Burning Plain feels like a higher level of mastery in Arriaga’s own development, but I wonder if critics and audiences will miss the literary dazzle of his earlier work.