The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada - Film Review




The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada - Film Review



I have to confess this film passed me by when it was first released in 2006.

It was brought to my attention by my cyber chums on the bulletin boards on the big betting exchange under a thread of “Great films you might have missed”.

It’s a definite western, but set in the present day, located on the Mexican-American border.

Tommy Lee Jones’s drinking and whoring pal, a Mexican cowboy, is shot dead and hastily buried in a shallow grave.

Tommy’s character, Pete Perkins, sets out to track down and punish the murderer who just happens to be an over zealous Border Patrol officer.

He’s fortunate enough to possess a pretty wife (far too good for him) who, inevitably, seeks additional affection elsewhere, as her cold husband appears incapable of showing her any tenderness at all. 

In the meantime, the police have hastily re-buried the body – why not? He’s only a Mexican cowhand with no known relatives after all.

Pete soon discovers the murderer and kidnaps him in order that he can dig up the body and the two of them set off for Mexico on some old mules, lugging the decomposing body, across hard and dramatic terrain. This old-fashioned cross-country trek brings back memories of films from long ago. 

The Mexican had previously told Tommy of a wife and family back home residing in a Shangri-la type place in the mountains, and that’s where they are heading now.

Twists and turns follow aplenty as you might expect, yet this is not a fast paced film, and nor, despite the heavily armed cast intent on shooting anything and everything that moves, (would the world not be a better place without all these weapons? - It aint rocket science!) yet neither is this an American all action movie either.

But it is a very good character-driven film that also brings to mind some of those old 60’s spaghetti westerns.

Three Burials will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but a worthy effort it certainly is, and quite different to so many other trashy movies that sadly dominate the shop shelves.

Well worth checking out. I enjoyed it.  



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