harryblarr’s review published on Letterboxd:
A road movie about homecoming, a modern Western with the barren landscape and the bustling city of Texas, Paris, Texas is also a peaceful and heart-breaking movie of the lost but also love.
Paris, Texas moves slowly along the lonesome road of Travis to explore his inner emotional turmoil but also his surroundings, the suburbs of LA, the desert of Texas and the hectic downtown of Houston. By displaying them all in succession through the format of a road movie, it’s not hard to see why Wim Wenders said that Paris, Texas is also a love letter to America.
The opening shot of Paris, Texas, after some aerial shots landscape, we are shown an unkempt figure of Travis through the eyes of an eagle. The fraught and mute Travis in the beginning slowly opens up but refused to reveal the reason of his 4 years disappearance. This change juxtaposed with him moving from places out of nowhere to civilization still doesn’t alter the fact that he’s always lonely within, avoiding his emotions. What is expected does not always lies at the end of the road.
Harry Dean Stanton is absolutely outstanding in his role of playing Travis. His jaunting figure (especially the sunken-in eyes) complements well with the soulless wanderer that is Travis. His performance is the one where you get comfortably sucked in.Ry Cooler’s guitar piece is also important to this movie, without it the film wouldn’t really be the same, the same goes to without Harry Dean Stanton’s authenticity and intensity in his acting.
Being a movie that observes the ruminations of broken family, Paris, Texas is not entirely melancholic, there are genuine true happiness from the characters, whether from the tape or the gait shared between the father and son. Travis does not always meander, he seeks for chances to redeem his past, to forgive himself and to wander away from the past. The culmination of the mutual confessions/monologues scene, the way Travis lay bare absolutely everything of him being a figure of broken American Dream, Jane’s exposure of her own conflict is cathartic and a very defining moment of the movie.
Wim Wenders’ Paris, Texas is stunning in its slow unfolding moments of character study, the story it tells is simple and incredibly moving. I am really glad I have the chance to experience this.