Scott Cooper has specialized in actor-driven and thoughtful for Hollywood adult genre fare since his low-expectations low-key debut, the Crazy Heart (2009): a Deer Hunter (Out of Furnace of 2013), a tale of Boston gangster Dom (Black Mass of 2015). This is a certain area that is totally underserved.
The sensibility of Scott Jason Cooper, on the other hand, has yet to progress beyond a strangled, self-inhibited intensity. Army Captain Joseph Blocker played by Christian Bale, the actor of Hostiles, is assigned an unwanted mission: escorting a Cheyenne war chief suffering from cancer, Yellow Hawk (Wes Studi), from New Mexico to Montana’s Valley of the Bears.
Blocker is forced to cooperate due to the threat of losing his pension, but the assignment irritates him. Initially, Cooper misleads viewers and makes them believe that the man looks down on the Native Americans so much that he would instead prefer to kill himself than perform his duty.
Although Bale is significantly less caricature-like in the scenes that hint at the terrible Blocker’s possible redemption, this flash of psychological suffering appears to be planned to pulse throughout the film’s arduous cross-country voyage.
The military commander has spent his entire life only fighting Native Americans. He is legendary for collecting more scalps compared to his fierce foes. He still has a grudge toward the chief for directing attacks in which many of his comrades were slain.
As Blocker and also a small group of troops embark on their journey with Yellow Hawk together with his family, they confronted a burned-down homestead where Rosalie Quaid (Rosamund Pike) is clutching her dead infant and crying violently for her husband and 2 other children.
They have been attacked by Comanches. She fights to dig graves meant for her family while still in shock but eventually allows the guys to do it. Rosalie avenges herself later when they confronted the same Comanche party, shooting shots into the body of a certain fallen Indian.
Something fresh seems to be in the air as the group carries on their quest. Rosalie is given some things to wear by the Indian women. Then, one of the oldest friends of Blocker in the unit, Metz (Rory Cochrane), discloses that he suffers from melancholia, which makes him miserable and unable to continue his military profession.
This sad man begs Yellow Hawk’s pardon for the atrocities he has done against indigenous peoples. Blocker and his group listen to the wife of the commander and denounce the government and military leaders for organizing the theft of Native American lands while dining at a certain military station.
Blocker is a cold-hearted military officer invented by writer and filmmaker Scott Cooper who enjoys war and has no qualms about brutalizing anyone he perceives as adversaries or hostile strangers.
However, after serving as Rosalie’s defender and caregiver, he starts to change, and his harsh thoughts toward Yellow Hawk fade. In a heartfelt encounter, the two warriors discover they’ve both lost pals, cementing their bond.
Hostiles’ uplifting message is that close experiences with persons we despise can lead to a shift in our attitudes as well as expectations. White males gain from Native Americans’ wisdom and insights in this film and Wind River.