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The Power Of The Dog (2021)

The Power of the Dog (2021) is a western psychological drama written and directed by Jane Campion. Based on the 1960’s novel of the same name, we see Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons and Kodi Smit-McPhee star in this visually gorgeous wasteland. This isn’t your typical ‘cowboy’ movie, Cumberbatch’s Phil Burbank is a troubled and brooding character with his past trapped in the land surrounding him.

Set in 1925, The Burbank brothers are wealthy ranchers in Montana. At the Red Mill restaurant, on their way to the market, the brothers meet Rose, the widowed proprietress, and her impressionable son Peter. The narrative wobbles between eery and menacing, the tone of the film is unsure of itself but yet it compliments the overall atmosphere of its surroundings.

The Power of the Dog (2021) is a slow exploration and contemplation on masculinity from the female eye, repression and control are strongly woven into the narrative. The story is slow, there is no doubt this film is sown together with beautiful visuals and scenic landscapes, although a slow burner and not being completely sure where the story was going to take me, the unsettling ending was well earning and worth the wait.

The Power of the Dog (2021) isn’t my typical choice of film but because of its critical acclaim I had to check it out, I am very glad I did. Although I will not be retuning to this film any time soon I can truly appreciate the craftsman ship of director Jane Campion and her attention to detail, the cast is full of talented and memorable performances, each actor brings a unique spin to their character which only adds an integral layer to the story.

Overall, I found this film to be worth its world wide attention. Benedict Cumberbatch is extraordinary in this spellbinding western, he embodies his lead role by creating a hard exterior which we want to invest in. The narrative slowly builds towards the shocking ending, it is a long road and at times feels long but ultimately the film is a showstopper. I am not surprised at its critical praise, I am pleased to see a female director sweep the Oscar’s yet again, good luck to Jane Campoin, I am sure she will take a lot of awards home with her.


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Welcome to Film Probe, a platform where I have dedicated my time and energies to reviewing films, tv and more. I pride myself on offering more than just an opinion, but rather a carefully crafted insight into the film's themes, characters, and overall production.

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