Daniel Day-Lewis is renowned for his approach to his movie roles. A true method actor, he immerses himself in a role, often staying in character for the entirety of the shoot. Such devotion to his work is evident here in The Last of the Mohicans. Day-Lewis plays Hawkeye, a white man brought up as a Mohican. In order to represent the character fully he underwent great physical training and learned many of the skills his character exhibits.
Michael Mann‘s 1992 epic is set in 1757 and is an adaptation of both James Fenimore Cooper‘s novel and George B. Seitz‘s 1936 movie. With the French and Indian conflict forming the backdrop of the film, The Last of the Mohicans centres on the plight of Major Duncan Heyward (Steven Waddington) and Colonel Munro’s daughters, Cora (Madeleine Stowe) and Alice (Jodhi May). Whilst journeying between forts their party are ambushed but the three are saved by Hawkeye’s valiant efforts. What follows shows the repercussions of war.
Misjudged allegiances abound whilst Hawkeye and Cora’s feelings for each other flourish despite their social differences. Though the story is engaging, the true majesty of Mann’s film lies in its cinematography. Beautifully capturing the devastating power of the wilds of America, the film features beautifully crafted scenes that help ground the story. Complementing such glorious visuals is Trevor Jones and Randy Edelman‘s critically acclaimed score.
The performances on show here are top class, with Day-Lewis excelling. Each part is played with emotion that inspires both sympathy and and a need for right to prevail. Whilst some characters aren’t trustworthy as they claim to be, their actions are often carried out with the greater good in mind.
Building to a frantic (and, at times, chilling) ending, The Last of the Mohicans is a timeless movie.