Although the western genre has not been a bright star in the movie sky for a long time, the lawlessness of the Wild West continues to start romanticized stories about the fight between heroes and criminals, that is, good and evil. Old Henry is a “small” western signed by Potsi Ponsiroli and which had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September. The production company Shout Studios behind this film has announced two more westerns in its production.
The plot of the film follows Henry (Tim Blejk Nelson), a farmer who lives on a detached farm in Oklahoma with his teenage son Wyatt. Their daily life is interrupted by the sight of a saddled horse without a rider, and Henry, following the tracks, discovers a wounded man with a gun and a bag full of money. After changing his mind, he takes the money and brings the stranger home to recover, and in front of the property, three riders appear, led by Kečam (Stiven village) which present themselves as the hand of the law. Henry has to decide who to trust and by defending his property in front of his son he questions his true identity.
The script was set in 1909, when the period of the Wild West was coming to an end, when there was no more room to explore or conquer, and the borders of the United States were more or less drawn. Consequently, traditional cowboys and farmers on the one hand, and criminals and people light on the trigger on the other have become forced to live under new circumstances that are much more strictly controlled by law. In this film, people still live by the old rules, the law has not reached these inaccessible landscapes and people are left to defend their property and their lives on their own.
As we find out, Henry moved often in the past and had a lot of different jobs, and only recently devoted himself to the simple life of a peasant. He is not a man of his word, but there are a lot of details that define him, above all loyalty to traditional values and old-fashioned ways of running a farm. A shotgun hangs on his wall, while in the hidden part of the closet he has a chest with weapons and newspaper clippings, and it is clear that he had experiences with violence and trouble. The script gives us the basics of this character, and most of the work related to its presentation is done by the great character actor Tim Blake Nelson, who gives Henry the look of a character burdened by his past.
In this environment, the characteristic of the western basis of the story is the relationship between father and son. Henry does not want his son to make the same mistakes as he did in the past while growing up, so he tries to remove and protect him. Wyatt is impatient and annoying because he is the only boy in the wider area who did not shoot from a gun and because he generally does not like the life of “God behind his feet”. In the new circumstances, Henry tries to determine who is lying and who wants to cause him problems, but above all, how best and from what he should protect his son.
There is a lot of tension and mystery in this simple story that is slowly progressing. Henry now has a pile of money and a wounded man in his house when Ketcham and his men want him dead. They are either legitimate representatives of the law or criminals disguised as sheriffs, and the same applies to the wounded who have their own version of events. In his script, the author develops the story slowly, but with a constant sense of threat, until it is built into the expected, well-realized and exciting exchange of firearms.
Old Henry is a micro-western with a solid dose of tension, a simple story of secrets and redemption, as well as good old-fashioned dynamic gunfire.
my final grade: 8/10
Source: The Filmske Recenzije by filmskerecenzije.com.
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