Slow West (2015) Movie Review

Director: John Maclean

Writer: John Maclean (Screenplay)

Starring: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Michael Fassbender, Ben Mendelsohn, Caren Pistorius, Brooke Williams

Plot: A young Scottish man travels across America in pursuit of the woman he loves, attracting the attention of an outlaw who is willing to serve as a guide.

Tagline – Love and death are universal.

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Just Slow All Around

Story: Slow West starts as Scottish young man Jay Cavendish (Smit-McPhee) heads to America, to travel across country to the west to be with his lose Rose (Pistroius), in the 1800s, he is travelling alone, which has made him a target, with drifter Silas Selleck (Fassbender) seeing him in need of aid, he offers to escort him across country for a fee.

Along the way Jay learns the harsh reality of travelling the open lands, with only Silas helping fix any of the problems he comes into contact with, learning just what happened in his memories of Rose, while Silas keeps his secrets for helping to himself.

Thoughts on Slow West

Characters – Jay is a naïve young man travelling from Scotland to the West Coast of America in search of his lost love, his nature wants to befriend everyone, even though not everyone is friendly, he sees this as the land of opportunity, instead of being prepared for the worst. Silas is a drifter and former bounty hunter that offers to help Jay across the country, knowing how to survive the environment, he does his own agenda for being so helpful, which becomes clear to see, though he doesn’t know how to avoid the troubles that they could face. Payne is the leader of a former gang that Silas was once apart of, which sees him following his old friend on this latest journey. Rose is the woman that Jay is travelling to see, she has left Scotland with her father to start a new life.

PerformancesMichael Fassbender and Kodi Smit-McPhee do everything they can in the leading role, they show they are from two different worlds that together can show each other the better sides of life, the performance reflect what the characters are trying to get across. The supporting performances are all solid enough, though most barely get screen time.

StoryThe story follows a young man trying to travel across America in the 18 hundreds where he meets a drifter to help him get past some of the troubles along the way, as he looks to get to his lost love. This story is a very slow moving one, we do get to see the scale of the journey by seeing just how much time to two must spend together, with different problems they would be facing, only for none of the problems feeling like they are as deadly as the film wants them too be. By making the journey lack perilous moments, it just doesn’t get to the moment that makes you want to sit back and enjoy.

WesternThis film does us the western themes to show the journey the two must go on, which does help us understand the era we are witnessing.

SettingsThe film keeps us in the open plains of America as the journey keeps us wondering just how far they have got on their journey.

Scene of the Movie – The arrival.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The pacing is too slow.

Final Thoughts This is a slow-moving western that just never gets going to the full levels it could, only for it to just plod along throughout the film, never getting going.

Overall: Slow moving, not slow west.

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