Watch Figures in a Landscape
- 1 hr 49 min
Figures in a Landscape is a political thriller from 1970 directed by Joseph Losey and starring Robert Shaw and Malcolm McDowell. The film takes place in an unnamed country where two prisoners, MacConnachie (Shaw) and Ansell (McDowell), manage to escape from their captors and flee on foot. The two men, chained together and dressed in prison uniforms, soon find themselves pursued by a mysterious helicopter which seems to be tracking them. As they run for their lives, MacConnachie and Ansell constantly question why they were imprisoned in the first place and who is after them.
The film opens with an overhead shot of the barren landscape, which sets the tone for the entirety of the movie. It is a hot, arid land with nothing but rocks and cliffs stretching out into the distance. It is in this desolate land that MacConnachie and Ansell find themselves running for their lives. The men are initially hesitant to trust each other, but their circumstances force them to work together. As they run, they begin to bond and share their past experiences. They talk about their families, their hopes, and their dreams. They also begin to realize that they are more than just prisoners on the run; they are pawns in a much larger game.
The helicopter that follows them is a constant source of tension throughout the film. We never see who is piloting the aircraft, but we know that whoever it is, they are determined to catch MacConnachie and Ansell. The scenes of the helicopter are some of the most memorable in the movie. The sound of the blades chopping through the air creates an ominous feeling, and the camera angles used to show the helicopter are unique and unsettling.
The two men encounter various obstacles as they run through the countryside. They must navigate treacherous cliffs, cross raging rivers, and avoid hostile villagers. They also have to contend with hunger, thirst, and exhaustion. These hardships take a toll on the men physically, but they also begin to wear on them emotionally. As they run, they question their own sanity and their ability to survive.
Despite the bleakness of their situation, MacConnachie and Ansell never lose hope. They remain determined to stay alive and to uncover the truth about why they were imprisoned. This determination is what makes the movie so powerful. The viewer is rooting for the two men to succeed, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.
The performances of Robert Shaw and Malcolm McDowell are outstanding. Shaw is known for his commanding presence on screen, and he does not disappoint here. His portrayal of the grizzled, world-weary MacConnachie is riveting. McDowell, who was relatively unknown at the time, shines as the more naive and optimistic Ansell. Together, the two actors create a dynamic chemistry that keeps the viewer engaged throughout the movie.
The landscape itself is also a character in the film. Losey makes excellent use of the stark, barren terrain to convey a sense of isolation and desperation. The camera lingers on the jagged rocks and cliffs, making the viewer feel as though the characters are truly alone in the world.
Figures in a Landscape is a film that is both suspenseful and thought-provoking. It raises questions about power, politics, and the human spirit. The viewer is left to speculate on the identity of the enigmatic helicopter pilot and the motives that drive him. The movie has a strong anti-war message, and it is clear that Losey intended for the film to be a commentary on the Vietnam War.
Overall, Figures in a Landscape is a thrilling and emotionally impactful movie. It is a testament to the strength of the human spirit, even in the face of overwhelming adversity. Fans of political thrillers and character-driven dramas will find much to appreciate in this masterful film from Joseph Losey.
Figures in a Landscape is a 2021 action movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 49 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.5.