Director: Paul Greengrass
Writer: Paul Greengrass, Luke Davies (Screenplay) Paulette Jiles (Novel)
Starring: Tom Hanks, Helena Zengel, Ray McKinnon, Mare Winningham, Elizabeth Marvel
Plot: A Civil War veteran agrees to deliver a girl, taken by the Kiowa people years ago, to her aunt and uncle, against her will. They travel hundreds of miles and face grave dangers as they search for a place that either can call home.
Tagline – Find Where You Belong
Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: News of the World starts when Civil War veteran Captain Kidd (Hanks) who travels from town to town to read the latest news to the towns people. On his latest journey, Kidd comes across a young Kiowa girl Johanna (Zengel) who he offers to help find her family, only they have all been killed.
Left with no other option, Captain Kidd decides to help take Johanna to relatives, a journey, which will see him continue to spread his news, but face new dangers along the way.
Thoughts on News of the World
Characters & Performances – Captain Kidd is a former Civil war soldier, turning his life into travelling to read the news to different towns, spreading the news of the changes in the world. He ends up finding a young girl alone on his travels, offering to help her. He ends up taking her on the dangerous journey to reunite her with her family. Kidd is a good man, a man haunted by his time in the war, always looking to make up for what he took from people during it. Tom Hanks is wonderful in this role, just as you would imagine, carrying a role, which could well have just turned into a standard role to new heights. Johanna is the young girl that Captain Kidd finds alone after an attack, she doesn’t speak English, after being with Kiowa for an amount of time. She must learn to trust Kidd on their journey, seeing how much he will do to keep her safe against the odds, putting his own on the line for her. She is a lost child, she has seen more than any child should have and just doesn’t know who to trust in the world. Helena Zengel is fantastic in this role, bringing to life this lost child with ease and stepping into the spotlight with ease, next to the superstar in Hanks. We get to meet different people on the journey, each with their own motivation for getting involved in the clash with Kidd.
Story – The story here follows a former Civil war Captain, who travels around America reading the news to each town, each town offers a new challenge and on his latest journey he meets a young girl. He looks to help her find safety with family in a journey that will see him face a series of difficult obstacles. This is a story that will be one we know the concept for before, seeing an unlikely partnership travelling through dangerous land in a growing, yet divided America. It does show that in a world of good people, there will be an evil person awaiting around nearly every corner. The story can feel like we are playing along with a Red Dead Redemption series of missions too, which does make the chapters on the journey feel more broken down.
Themes – News of the World takes us to wild west post-Civil war, seeing how the America is still divided and living off the news past through the travellers. The landscapes we see the pair travelling through are beautiful to see, filled with peace, despite the potential of danger in them.