Cert: 15 Runtime: 84 mins Director: John Maclean Cast: Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Caren Pistorious and Ben Mendelsohn
In a short time, this will seem like a long time ago
Slow West has been one of my most anticipated films of 2015, I have heard nothing but great things. What also attracts me to John Macclean’s film is that we have a western! This genre seems to be returning very slowly back and this is a front runner for it. What is Slow west about you ask? The year is 1870. Young Scottish aristocrat Jay Cavendish (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is besotted with Rose (Caren Pistorius). However, she has recently ventured overseas to America with her father. Determined to win her heart, Jay travels to America in pursuit. Arriving in Colorado, he runs into drifter Silas Selleck (Michael Fassbender), with whom Jay teams up to discover Rose’s whereabouts. However, unbeknownst to Jay, Silas is out to collect a bounty on Rose’s head.Slow West is a huge leap forward for westerns. Cinematographer Robbie Ryan, has given it a more intimate flair and a brighter canvas. The bright colours and vivid imagery made it feel like a Wes Anderson western, Maclean really made Slow West into his own bearing the Anderson trait.
Kodi Smit-McPhee, is quickly proving himself to be able to transition from his child actor years to adulthood. He also has a skill with silent comedy; most of the audience’s guffaws came at Jay’s befuddled reactions.Michael Fassbender, who I feel works best when he isn’t trying to crank up the intensity, feels very relaxed, and the American accent is improving. The bulk of the film focuses on just these two actors, although occasionally they share screen time with some colourful characters, including Ben Mendelsohn as a wily, cigar-chewing outlaw. It did feel a bit Django Unchained-esk at some points. Slow West my come over tongue and cheek but it does present the tell of the American frontier and the death of native Americans. It’s such a subtle screenplay but it’s story spreads further than you’d imagine. It’s an interesting adventure retrieving a lost love but with a darker undertone. Slow West is worth anyone’s time.