People with demons can easily become them…
Allow me to say this with the roughness of a cowboy:
Gotdamn, Jane Campion tamed this tale, set in the fading days of the Old West, with the unrelenting steam and bloodiness of a wild bull.
Whew. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let’s talk more about The Power of the Dog.
We begin in 1925 Montana. The voiceover is one of our four main characters. His name is Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and he is our narrator; his point of view becomes our guide. You realize this as soon as his steady measured voice says the following, with the purpose and pacing of poetry:
When my father passed
I wanted nothing more than my mother’s happiness
For what kind of man would I be, if I did not help my mother
If I did not save her
There is something about his tone, the score, and the darkened screen that foreshadow what must have been an everyday promise in those untamed lands: There will be blood. But how or when is something you don’t know. And part of the thrill of this slow burning film is waiting for things to go wrong. Continue reading