Neo Western

NEO WESTERN : A SOFT BUT TIMELY REBOOT OF THE WESTERN GENRE

First of all, I would like to clarify that it is my understanding and views that I express in the article. From the past few years, I developed a certain interest in watching westerns. No particular sub-genre but all the good stuff accompanied by what’s latest in town. Clint Eastwood directed and starred in most of the critically acclaimed westerns but surely do not account for the golden period. Names like The Unforgiven, The Good The Bad The Ugly, High Noon, True Grit, and 3:10 To Yuma are several of my favourite movies from the distinct genre. But after watching the remake of The Magnificent 7, In a Valley Of Violence and many others, I have a sense of feeling that the genre is running out of new ideas, not only plot wise but also because of seemingly similar characters and production design. I think Neo western has the strength to rejuvenate the ultimate genre in a big way. A popularised success of more films in a small duration of time could motivate the producers to increase the budget and whatnot. So I will now be focusing on movies that left a huge impact on me and somehow persuaded me to write the article. Tried to keep it as brief as possible.

NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

Not only a great noir western but undoubtedly one of the finest thrillers ever made. Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin‘s cat and mouse chase accompanied by Tommy Lee Jones’ portrayal of a helpless and wearisome sherif makes it a must watch. The demonic, vicious, yet rule-bound hitman that Bardem played earned him an Academy Award. The best thing about the movie is that it explains a simple moral in a very original and uninteresting way. The director duo of the movie the Coen Brothers also earned appreciation for their execution of a difficult movie.

MYSTERY ROAD

This Australian movie was one of it’s kind. A detective thriller which plays around the investigation of a girl’s murder. The investigation is handled by an indigenous detective played by Aaron Pedersen who should be awarded distinction marks. The movie may prove to be bit relaxed for certain viewers but that is the way the primitive westerns were. I also watched it’s sequel but it was way to similar in many ways.

THE HATEFUL EIGHT
Starring an amazing ensemble cast, the movie relies heavily upon the chemistry and interaction of the characters until the brutal climax. I really think this Tarantino movie could have been a bigger affair if a couple of characters were written right. The cinematography is just right, but who really cares when the director gives you stuff which may lead to nightmares. One of the most violent and well executed movies, with almost no dull moments surely deserves appreciation.

HELL OR HIGH WATER
Let me be honest, this movie made me question the decisions of the Academy. This movie was surely my favourite of 2016. Perfectly cast actors, amazing cinematography, and a swift background score all contribute to the non-relaxing screenplay. The plot of the movie is no Inception but it is the quirky dialogues of Jeff Bridges that leave you wanting more. Ben Foster’s breakthrough performance is the key highlight of the movie. Chris Pine also lends the required emotional support. The realistic feel about the movie is what I like about it the most.

WIND RIVER

Another great film by Taylor Sheridan after Hell or High Water, Wind River is one of those very few movies who stay what they promise. Starring Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen, this mystery thriller gives you all the chill if you are willing to stay patient. Elizabeth plays an amateur FBI agent who is aided by a local hunter/guide for the proceedings. After watching this movie I realised it is Sheridan’s build up game till the end that satisfies the viewers and also makes them think about the previous happenings in the movie. One particular similarity that I found in his movie is that it focuses on the lives of people who have seen some hardships and are the local residents of that particular locality. For example, the Cowboy thieves from Texas in HOHW or be it the Indians in Wind river.

So these are the kind of movies which I think would far better than a disciplined western. The need of the hour is certain changes either in timeline, plot or style of storytelling for the genre.

Image from star2.com

Written By: Rudraksh Bhardwaj

Writer For Movies and TV

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