Feature Play: Slow West
Funny enough, there is nothing really that “slow” about Slow West. If anything is slow, it’s just the way the movie starts to get you nervous. It made a splash at Sundance and it’s apparent, even from the beginning, why Slow West was such a hit.
It features a tale that embraces the classic ideals of the old west. It’s a self-conscious film as well, which is echoed in the movie’s dry humor.
Actor Kodi Smit-McPhee plays the main character jay Cavendish, who from Colorado in the 1870’s, he’s pursuing the woman he loves, who has fled to America with her dad.
Jay partners up with Silas played by Michael Fassbender. Little does our hero know that the girl he’s pursing and her dad, have bounties on their heads. Even worse is that Silas is one of these bounty hunters trying to collect the money before the others, which of course puts our duo in a rather tight spot.
The movie is narrated by Silas and he reveals his plan early on. The question becomes: will he go for the kill or will he buckle and help our protagonist?
What makes the set up work so well is the way the movie jumps around genres. Beyond the old west, we also are treated to the coming of age story, and then the oddball comedy with gratuitous violence.
The interruptions, if you’d like to call them that, work in the sense that it keeps you on the edge of your seat, and also makes for a unique movie experience. The film was shot in New Zealand and the landscape really goes with the story.