That is how one character describes the harsh snowy landscape that they live in, and also fittingly describes the fantastic film Wind River.
Now yes, that does sound like a criticism.
And for a lesser film it would be – where a dull premise is filled with boring characters and zero action, that slowly marches to an insufferable conclusion.
That is not Wind River.
Yes, it is slow, but that’s because it needs to be, as it sows the seeds of despair and emotion while the tension slowly burns like a stick of dynamite.
It has fantastic characters in Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen, two Avengers in the famous Marvel franchise.
But don’t be tricked into thinking this bears any similarities to the comic book film, as this is not a kid’s film, nor is it suited to those who desire one liners or world-ending action.
The film takes place at the Wind River Indian reservation, where Cory (Renner) is informed by his former father in law that a steer has been killed by a lion.
Cory, who is a hunter, finds the steer dead in the snow, a helpless creature killed by more powerful foes and a strong metaphor for the movie.
As Cory searches for the lions, he finds something far more sinister, which is what kick-starts the plot.
FBI officer Jane (Olsen) is soon called to Wind River, and is immediately out of her environment, figuratively and literally.
Her life is in danger as soon as she steps out of her car – not because someone is trying to kill her, but because of something else.
“You won’t last 10 minutes out here,” Cory tells her, referring to the weather, and he is not saying that to try and establish himself as her protector or scare her off; it’s simply the law of the land: You either survive or you die.
The movie sings when it has Cory and Jane together, as the differences between the characters bring out their emotional depths.
Cory embodies the stoic, hard man traits that are necessary to survive in such a harsh climate – the sort of guy that you instinctively know not to mess with.
Jane on the other hand, is an officer from Florida by way of Las Vegas. Not the sort of person that would fit in on an Indian reservation.
You’ll enjoy this movie if you want to see frank, revealing discussions about loss, family, a feeling of powerless and the role of a parent.
One of the characters says to another, “Have you ever gotten so mad that you’ve wanted to fight the whole world?”
That sentence really speaks to the core of the film, and in a larger sense, to life.
Some characters become so angry with their life that they medicate with traditional vices like drugs and alcohol, all the while blaming the world for their problems.
Others see that the world is too big to fight everyone and everything, so it’s easier to take the pain and just survive,
Wind River is a testament to the human spirit, one that is needed to live in harsh climates or through tough times.