Western ★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Western opens with our protagonist, Meinhard, walking towards the camera. We watch him navigate his environment that through dialog we learn it is not offering much. Then we transport to a new land and are on his back, and we remain there while we navigate a new landscape with him. This journey trapezes a thin line as language barriers mingle between neighboring locals. There is a tension with every exchange of dialog where at any moment words could be misconstrued and one can no longer use their words to fight or defend.

The plot and themes are borrowed from the name it takes, but the characters are refreshingly genuine and unpredictable. The slow boil allows them to sit in our peripherals and slowly fall for them. There are times when I felt the onset of a dramatic cliche, where the plot was about to go in a certain direction to easily absolve tension and it doesn't. The characters feel genuine because they are gray in their nature. Some may be leaning more toward a darker side, but they all act with heart and reason. The film feels like origami in creation where there are no preexisting folds to lead to a hint of its greater design.. we simply meander along with Meinhard and instead of watching him ride off into a sunset, he dances into the unknowable night.

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