A surprisingly good western that could have been even better with some cuts here and there to keep its pace.
The sisters brothers are merciless killers, an odd couple, and have a strong fraternal relationship in their work for ‘the commodore’.
On the trail of a man who is being tracked by a detective working for the commodore the sisters brothers have a few mishaps. Killers, spiders, horse troubles are just a few.
When they find him things work out more differently than I could have predicted.
This movie kept a good sense of humour in its harshness and contrasting warmth and humanity. If westerns are the next big thing after superheroes I hope we get more like this.
Saw this at the Venice film festival.
It shares some common threads with many of Mike Leigh’s other films. Earnest working class folks. Grim conditions. Oppressive politics. And some moments of light relief. This one goes on and on and on though.
The opening scene is pretty brutal with a young soldier caught on a battlefield with cannon fire and cavalry.
Then to Manchester. The soldier’s home and the eventual scene of the massacre at St Peter’s Field. It’s a long time until the movie gets to that. Once it does, and we get to see the drawn out preparation and carnage things are wrapped up in a few moments.
There’s quite a bit of tedious didacticism with folks explaining corn laws, suffrage, and so forth to family around the hearth.
In most every scene it is like the characters are orating to each other rather than conversing. Especially the magistrates. They identify themselves as ‘moral superiors’ of the regular folk as they plot the crushing of perceived insurrection. About the only characters who avoid this orating and shouting at each other are the Home Secretary, prime minister, and prince regent. Though they’re mildly lampooned.
It’s an overly earnest film that could have been more effective with some dialogue, radical editing, and something a bit more than ‘we’ll be sure to report this in our newspapers’ to end the massacre with.