Robert Redford’s newest film features a pair of Weather Underground-style radicals still running from their violent pasts. Will Redford ask us to root for their freedom, or will the story show them finally paying for their actions?
The Company You Keep finds Redford directing and co-starring in a film sure to raise the hackles of anyone familiar with the tactics of extreme ’60s radicals.
The film boasts a brilliant cast, including Chris Cooper, Susan Sarandon, Julie Christie, Brendan Gleeson, Terrence Howard, Anna Kendrick and Shia LaBeouf. The trailer suggest a white-knuckle thriller, albeit one that hints at some serious moral equivalency regarding the actions of the people on the run.
Redford’s character, who apparently has ties to an extremist group from the era in question, has an 11-year-old daughter. The trailer tries to tug at our hearts when we consider the impact his potential incarceration will have on her.
Sarandon also plays a former radical, one who doesn’t appear very apologetic for the pain she inflicted on others.
“The government was murdering millions,” Sarandon’s character says, apparently defending her own violent behavior.
“Sometimes the truth is not what it seems,” warns the trailer.
Redford’s work behind the camera can be erratic, veering from the brilliant Ordinary People to the heavy-handed Lions for Lambs. He’s been a movie star for far too long not to have some grasp of what consumers want to see, and we’re guessing a feature-length defense of terrorism won’t rally ticket sales, assuming that matters to the Sundance Film Festival founder.
The source material is cause for concern. Author Neil Gordon’s yarn has a very sympathetic take on the terrorists in question.
We’ll all find out where Redford’s creative impulses take him when The Company You Keep hits theaters April 5.