I’ve finally watched “Frozen River” and was very impressed by the straight-forward story of two single mothers that reveals harsh and barren life as it is.
The upright film tells about Lila, a widowed Mohawk, whose child had been taken away. Her relatives didn’t want a child to be brought up by a smuggler; and Ray, a mother of two, whose gambling-addict husband had recently taken off with the down payment for their new trailer home. The two desperate women were forced to earn living on their own. They joined in an illegal venture of transporting immigrants into the USA across the Mohawk territory, quite successfully.
With the money enough to pay their bills the women were determined to make one last run. However the circumstances spiraled out of control and the two women had to make life or death decisions based on their friendship and love for the children.
Though the film seemed to be very slow-moving, the story itself was involving. The women’s desperation knew now borders. They were both quite experienced adults and realized how dangerous their occupation was and what kind of consequences there may be. Nevertheless they took up it and when the time came to answer for the consequences, they didn’t run off. They paid the bill even though it was painful. I was amazed. There were not many characters in films that made up their mind to surrender to the authorities and to be punished.
To my mind the film submits the values that have been long forgotten. The importance of a family, self-sacrifice for the sake of some one else’s well-being, sympathy and empathy. While the most important message of the film is that a crime is followed by a proper punishment. The option that has been long forgotten in most films of today.