slow-west-review

Slow West (2015) – Review

To him, we were in a land of hope and good will,” Silas explaining Jay’s vision about the West.

First time writer-director, John Maclean attempted to revisit Western genre with his poetic vision—an off-beat wild west tale taped with coming-of-age romance and quirky road film like never before.

He crafted a cinematic idyll in a form of irony—depicting the wild west with highly fluorescent and picturesque visuals—juxtaposing the highly-unanticipated startling plot. 

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16-year-old Scottish Jay Cavendish  (Smit-McPhee), who loves star-gazing and poets,  travels across continents to wild American in pursuit to the girl he loves. A tragedy has set them apart; his feeling of responsibility and, of course, love drove him.

He’s joined by a surprisingly courteous drifter, Silas (Fassbender), who’s willing to be a guide for him despite of their different perception about the West.

Thing is, Rose (Pistorius), the girl he wanted to be with, along with her father (Rory McCann, Sandor Clegane from Game of Thrones) have prices on their head. At the same time, a horde of bounty hunters is after them; therefore, Jay’s purpose is at stake; while Silas has his own agenda.

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Slow West creates an intimate character-driven road movie—only this time on horses—which becomes very faithful to the title. It’s unarguably a slow-burner that devices flashbacks to expose the grand picture.

The plot is written thoroughly—the ‘when’and ‘where’ some specific events are purposely arranged. Furthermore, Smit-McPhee and Fasbender’s sudden chemistry ensure the plot goes to the correct direction.

While stuffed with whimsical but idyllic pictures for the whole journey, Slow West reveals its unavoidably thrilling finale—which is beautifully orchestrated; at the same time revealing its tragic twist and confirming irony I mentioned in the beginning.

VERDICT: Slow West is a tale of irony crafted with beautiful visuals and sympathetic story-telling only to reveal the beautiful tragedy. It’s an off-beat road movie with touches of black comedy sealing John Maclean’s impressive debut.

Slow West (2015)

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Western, Action, Drama Written & Directed by: John Maclean Starred by: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Michael Fassbender, Ben Mendelsohn, Rory McCann, Caren Pistorius Running Time: 84 mins Rated R for violence and brief language

IMDb | Official Site


Sutradara debutan, John Maclean mencoba menghidupkan kembali genre Western dengan visi puitisnya—sebuah kisah wild west yang off-beat dibalut romansa coming-of-age serta elemen road film yang super unik.

Ia menghadirkan keindahan sinematis dalam wujud ironi—menggambarkan wild west dengan visual yang cerah dan indah—tak seimbang dengan plotnya yang tak bisa diantisipasi.

Bocah 16 tahun, Jay Cavendish (Smit-McPhee), menyeberangi benua sampai ke Amerika hanya untuk mengejar pujaan hatinya. Sebuah tragedi telah memisahkan mereka; dan ia pun tergerak untuk mencari cintanya.

Di perjalanan, ia bertemu pengembara, Silas (Fassbender) yang kemudian bergabung dan menjadi guide-nya meskipun sering mereka berbeda pandangan.

Masalahnya, Rose (Pistorius), pujaan Jay adalah buronan. Saat Jay mencarinya, serombongan bounty hunter pun juga memburunya dengan tujuan berbeda.

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Road film dalam Slow West sangat character-driven dan sangat sesuai dengan judulnya:lambat. Kadang kisahnya diungkap dengan flash-back yang cukup efektif.

Plotnya lumayan rapi—kemunculan event tertentu sepertinya sudah diatur untuk membangun tone. Ditambah dengan chemistry Smit-McPhee dan Fassbender, plotnya sangat rapat meskipun lambat.

Meskipun dijejali dengan visual yang whimsical nan indah, Slow West tak mampu menghindari finale-nya yang cukup menyesakkan. Beautifully orchestrated sekaligus tragis, sukses mengkonfirmasi ironi yang sedari tadi ditutupi.


This review of Slow West is written and translated into Bahasa Indonesia by Paskalis Damar.

2 thoughts on “Slow West (2015) – Review”

  1. Setuju sama nilainya.
    Slow West ini mampu dikemas dengan fresh dan jauh dari kesan old-fashioned. Karena untuk era sekarang, western dianggap genre film yg kuno dan mulai jarang dibuat.

    Like

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