Hidden Meanings Behind the "Hell or High Water" Movie
Reviewed by Joy Ramos Davis

Synopsis: Set in West Texas, two brothers Toby and Tanner, attempt several bank robberies.  They need to come up with enough money to avoid bank foreclosure on their family ranch.  Pursuing them are two Texan Rangers, leading to a classic Western clash between Outlaws and Lawmen of the frontier.

Warning: Contains Spoilers

Welcome to "Conscious Movie Reviews."  I'm your host Joy Davis and here to review the action and adventure drama, "Hell or High Water."

Facing foreclosure of their ranch, Toby, a divorced father, and his ex-con brother Tanner, attempt their first early-morning robbery at a Texas Midlands Branch.  They manage to take $7,000 in cash. 

The brothers had several days to pay off their reverse mortgage loan plus interest owed.  It was a huge debt of $43,000 left by their recently deceased mother.  Toby was determined to pass on the property to his estranged sons, plus profits gained from oil that was recently discovered on the land.

Hot on their tail were Texas Rangers Marc Hamilton who was nearing retirement and his Native American Comanche-Mexican sidekick, Alberto Parker. 

Just like the Wild West films of the 1960's, "Hell or High Water" depicts the changing social landscape where the outlaws were the antiheroes enacting their own kind of justice against a corrupt system.  Currently, the wild of the West has come from lawless acts of robbery done to hard-working Americans by banks. 

Public distrust has reached an all-time high, stemming from the 2007 - 2008 recession that caused a major loss of confidence in the global financial system.

Collapse of the Banking System

A second bank heist was spontaneously done by Tanner that same morning nearby a diner.  He did it to satisfy his younger brother's child support debts. 

Ranger Hamilton was able to accurately deduce a criminal profile and intent on the brothers, based on information from local witnesses.  One of the diners commented to him that the "days of robbing banks is over."

This is absolutely true as governments worldwide are demonetizing.  They want a cashless society that's transparent and digital to do away with "black money" that's not stored in banks and not taxed.

Based on emerging trends, Futurist Thomas Frey recognizes that in a few years, all banking will be mobile.  Financial transactions will be made on smartphones and watches that would replace credit/debit cards, wallets, lenders, stockbrokers and insurance agents.  No more compound interest or hidden fees. 

There is a good chance that we will have a default, global currency arise from the cryptocurrency movement.  Leading the charge is the Bitcoin to disrupt the archaic banking system.  It's a counterculture currency and transaction network, free from the intrusion and prying eyes of big government. 

Confrontation Between Outlaws

On their way to launder the stolen money through an Oklahoma casino, the brothers stop by a convenience store.  When Tanner lazily stares at two men in a green car, one of them takes offense to call him a bitch and brandishes his gun as threat.  In response, Toby doesn't hesitate to beat him up.

This was a unique clash of neo-Western outlaws vs. modern-day gangsters.  The brothers symbolized men who upheld "frontier justice" to create order by challenging an unjust system.  They stood for values and a self-sufficient way of life.  As for gangsters, their way is psychopathic and self-centered.  Their acts of violence are done ruthlessly and with no conscience.   

A Moral Dilemma

In order to pay off the reverse mortgage debt and secure the property, they were legally advised to create a trust handled by a Texas Midland Bank.  In their minds, they were about to pay the bank bastards back with their own money - a gray area of morality.

The idea of right and wrong, like morality codes, is an illusion - a construct of the mind.  When you bypass the mind to operate from the Soul's perspective, we can choose whatever path of experiences and actions to take.  No matter which one, they all offer good lessons to learn from for our spiritual maturity and evolvement.  By letting go of judgment, you can fully realize the gifts behind the experience.

Rattlesnake & Desert Types

At a diner, Rangers Marc and Alberto were ordering their food from an elderly waitress with biting attitude.  She rudely asked, "What don't you want to order?" 

Nearby was a branch of the Texas Midland Bank.  Going by his strong, intuitive hunch, Ranger Marc was convinced that the brothers will make their move there.  He just needs to lay low and wait patiently.

In the movie, these two incidences suggest rattlesnake tendencies - a reflection of the area they live in.  Having the Rattlesnake as a spirit animal connects you to Life Force and primal energy.  It represents boundaries and danger with a need to defend a position.  When the rattlesnake shows up in your dreams or waking life, it can offer a symbolic message that you may need to check what or who in your life is "poisonous."

Individuals who are naturally drawn to the arid region of the Southwest have a unique, desert personality.  Many are introverts who prefer the wide expanse that's quiet and calming.  

Deanne Stillman, author of "Desert Reckoning" adds that these types "are hanging on fiercely and just yet barely...They have been cast aside, banished almost, to a place that is misunderstood by many, regarded as a trash bin for outcasts.  Their lives are fragile."  

To better understand the desert personality of the brothers, Stillman explained that "if you are unhinged or pissed off, trouble ensues and there are plenty of people cheering you on.  In the end, men are forever boys, especially without the tethers of family...Think about songs like "I Fought the Law and the Law Won.""

Ranger Marc was soo close.  He guessed the right bank, but it was closed when the brothers showed up.  They just missed each other. 

Heading for the town of Post, it was a risky move for the brothers to attempt a heist in a much larger bank.  They didn't anticipate a confrontation by customers with weapons.  The robbery left two persons dead and Toby injured from a gunshot wound.  They managed to ride off, but closely followed by a caravan of five cars with armed townspeople.         

Rangers Marc and Alberto raced over to Post.  Toby got into a separate car outside of town to head off in a different direction while Tanner held the posse back by firing at them before racing towards a mountain ridge.  When the Rangers arrive with local law enforcement, Alberto was shot dead by Tanner's sniper rifle.     

Imprinting the Land with Trauma

Getting help from one of the locals in the area, Ranger Marc was taken to a nearby ridge to be within close view of the shooter's backside.  Tanner was killed with a single long-range headshot  

Shamans have long understood that the Earth can carry the energetic imprint of what happened in an area.  The stories are kept in its soils, waters and in the air.  These original imprints can contribute to cycles or patterns continuously repeating, like the feuding between the Comanches with neighboring tribes and bloody wars over land ownership throughout the history of West Texas. 

Escaping Jail & Poverty

Fortunately for Toby, he managed to get through a police checkpoint without anyone noticing his bullet wound.  The stolen money was laundered at the casino to finally resolve the mortgage debt and keep the ranch within the family. 

Months after retiring, Marc headed out to confront Toby, revealing what he knew about the robberies, even though the police records cite him as innocent of any wrongdoing.  Toby's answer back was that he comes from generations of poverty that was like a disease.  When Toby's sons and ex-wife arrived, the men vowed to continue the conversation where they left off at another time.


Widget is loading comments...
Custom Search

Get Beyond 50's
Exclusive Updates
Subscribe Today!

* Email
* City
* State
* = Required Field
Email Marketing You Can Trust

Beyond 50 values your personal information.  Your email will not be used, sold, or shared with any outside party. 



Related Interviews:

A Right to Bear Arms: What Were the Founders Thinking?

Police State USA

Investing in Distressed Mortgage Notes


Watch It Now!