Like his screenwriting work in Babel
, 21 Grams
, and Amores Perros
, Guillermo Arriaga's directorial debut is a complex, emotional drama that doesn't limit itself to a single narrative. Instead, The Burning Plain
skips back and forth through four different times and stories -- that is, if anything this heavy can be said to skip. Like the lives of its characters, this film is emotionally devastating as the audience witnesses the cruelty people can do to others, and themselves.
In one of the four interweaving threads, Oscar winner Charlize Theron stars as Sylvia, a restaurant manager who has no trouble stripping for a succession of l...