You can always do with a good Western film is my thinking.
I can’t think of my definitive Western off the top of my head. Blazing Saddles finds itself prominently up the front of my thoughts (mostly because I love a good comedy), followed by the likes of 3:10 To Yuma, True Grit and such ilk. Heck, I could even mention the great No Country For Old Men here, a modern take on the genre.
But that’s all kind of hilarious considering those are all drastically different styles of film that take place in the same genre.
So for me, it’s great that I walked out of Slow West thinking to myself “Now that is a Western”.
Produced by and starring Michael Fassbender (X-Men: First Class, 12 Years A Slave), it follows Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes) as Jay Cavendish, an upper class boy chasing hope in the Wild West. He comes upon Fassbender’s Silas during a scene that evokes the danger and unknowing of the time, where they partner up to ride towards Cavendish’s goal of the journey; his love Rose Ross (Caren Pistorius).
Set against the scenic backdrop of New Zealand, stepping in for the American Plains, the journey is beautiful and savage. Perfectly representing an abundance of land and a scarcity of people, it’s often lonesome as Silas and Jay travel toward Rose. But such were the times back then, that when they run into a someone (an anyone) an ever-present lack of trust appears and you wonder if this leads toward a drawing of gunfire and blood.
With wonderful pacing that slithers itself through comedy, drama and a huge set-piece of action, Slow West made me appreciate the hardships of those who survived these times, while leaving me with that sort of potent joy you have when you’ve enjoyed the journey a film has taken you on.
- Fantastic Fassbender
- Jolly Journey'ing
- Wild West Wildness
- Sensational Scenery
- General Goodness
A wild adventure that doesn't glorify the hardships of the time, Slow West is a true Western tale