Spoilers will wait outside.
Okey I must confess I got some winter flashbacks just watching this feature. The film depicts cold, hunger and cabin fever in a way that reminds us of how things happen around here. This is, despite the nationalities, very much a western genre film in the modern age. Mostly set in one location and with a small cast, the film uses its limited resources to the fullest extent and make them into its strengths.
ONE AND FOUR (2021) is written and directed by Jigme Trinley. Sangyue (Jinpa) is a ranger stuck in the middle of the Tibetan plateau with a blizzard coming. He receives the visit and the tales of three different men. The first stranger claims to be a policeman (Wang Zheng) who tells him of a nearby car accident while trying to capture a dangerous poacher. The second man is Kunbo (Kunde), a man from the village, who has delivered him a letter and some bad news. But as the policeman drags Kunbo out to find out what he has seen, a third man appears claiming to be a policeman searching for the poacher.
I loved almost everything about this film. The isolated scenario, the flawed point of view by which we learn every visitor’s story and the performance of Sangyue as a man unable to completely trust his wits after being isolated for so long. However, although we do get an ending complete with a mexican standoff. The explanation of what transpired is left in the air, but it does gives you an ending. It’s a choice and I can’t make up my mind if it was the best one.
Highly recommended with reservations. I don’t want to be spoon-fed a solution, but it does make for a frustrated mystery to never get to the reveal of the identity of the real antagonist – if there was even one. Audiences that demand full satisfaction will find themselves baffled at the lack of explanation. It does finish what it started but leaves you wanting to know why. Worth a watch if you don’t mind ambiguous conclusions.
That will do for now.