Director: Anna Gutto
Producer: Georgia Bayliff, Claudia Bluemhuber, Anna Gutto, Michael Leahy
Writer: Anna Gutto
Running duration: 1hr 55m
Original Language: English
Release Date: 29 July 2022
- Morgan Freeman as agent Gerick
- Juliette Binoche as Sally
- Frank Grillo as Dennis
- Cameron Monaghan as Finley Sterling
- Hala Finley as Leila
- Jim Dougherty as Paul
- Veronica Ferres as Rose
- Christiane Seidel as Claire
- Tommie Earl Jenkins as Bob
- Jwaundace Candece as Tesia
- Jackie Dallas as Deborah
- Walker Babington as Terrence
- Diva Tyler as Truck Stop Manager
ABOUT PARADISE HIGHWAY
In Paradise Highway a female truck driver while delivering a package across the border in the United States unknowingly gets involved in human trafficking. She finds herself in a catch-22 position because the “package” is a teenage girl and its trading is linked to her imprisoned brother. She concocts a plan to save herself and the package from the FBI agents and the traffickers.
starting with Freda Allynne’s “Money, and all your love” and ending with Anne Kulonen and Philip Kay’s “One way or Another” the movie perfectly fits with the songs. In the beginning, it gives you a gesture for a minute that Anna Gutto is going to present you with a divine ride on the highway. Or maybe the destination is as beautiful as paradise.
But, as the movie proceeds all your beautiful imaginations fade away. A movie starring Oscar-winning Morgan Freeman can’t be as simple as drawing a circle. So, fasten your seat belts and hop on the truck. Not that the ride is bumpy but you might get tremors because of the hidden secrets.
For the love of brother
The second shot exposes the best cinematographic skills of the director, the way the camera moves, and gradually reveals the first appearance of the lead actress Juliette Binoche as Sally. She is chit-chatting with her colleagues over the conference call while driving her truck. Suddenly the scene shifts and you see Sally standing in front of the jail gate where she pays a visit to her brother Dennis (Frank Grillo) who is near parole. Sally has left no stone unturned to get her brother out of the jail.
The movie very subtly and slowly reveals the hidden truths of the criminal justice system when Dennis hands over a note to Sally. You are unsure why she is reluctant to take that one? But for the love of her brother sally (Juliette Binoche) agrees to play the role as Dennis demands.
There is no silver bullet in Paradise Highway
Sally knows that she has to carry a package across the border from one state to another. But one thing is unaware of is the cost of the love she has for her brother. Dennis doesn’t know the nature of the luggage so does sally.
Gutto did not just restrict herself to the life inside the jail but she linked it to the crime of the outside world. Which is quite understandable. Wrongful acts happening inside the prison are a projection of the outside crime world.
The way the cameraperson films the part of exposing “the package” reality is gut-wrenching. To save her brother’s life Sally halfheartedly agrees to take the package with her. That day changes Sally’s life. She never thinks she is going to be chased by the FBI agents and the human traffickers. It isn’t as simple as she thinks. She tries to get out of the situation ASAP but there is no silver bullet to dodge the circumstances. As the package was an as teenage girl, Leila (Hala Finely).
Weaknesses of the justice system
There comes to the curtain another Oscar-winning lead actor agent Gerick (Morgan Freeman). The appearance of Freeman on the screen could be a little dramatic however, it is simple and very much Freeman type. With him comes Finley (Cameron Monaghan) aka Yale. Finley has written essays and not just poems at Yale.
Gerick and Finley are FBI appointees to investigate the human trafficking case. Both are unaware of the gravity of the situation. Until they raid a house which is in the middle of the city. Finley is new to the field hence, more disappointed by the ground realities. Moreover, the insensitive and non-cooperative attitude of the police department is another pain in the throat.
The writer has written it eloquently that the story takes you so close to the solution and suddenly pulls you back. The house of traffickers, the weigh stations, and the truck stop of them are the made the central points of the lead.
Fight for yourself on Paradise Highway
Sally somehow managed to save Laila from the traffickers and also the FBI. She doesn’t believe in the Bureau’s good intentions until Freeman makes her believe that there are some good people in the department.
At the same time, Dennis is out of jail and living at his parents’ house. He calls sally over to their childhood home. Instead of having differences with her late father she goes there as it is the only haven. FBI isn’t hot on her trail anymore but the traffickers are still behind her. They want their package back. The part of the movie filmed inside the house is of basic quality. The light effect is very warm and the sound quality can be improved.
Dennis wants to send Leila back, but Sally keeps her and fights her loving brother in the middle of the night and stands before the three trucks’ lights when the world is sleeping.