The Rider

The second offering from Chloe Zhao is a confident portrayal of the lives of rodeo cowboys in the South Dakota Sioux.

The movie centres around Brady, a young man working the rodeo circuit who has an accident that leaves him not able to ride – or express his feelings about his new circumstances.

The metaphor of Brady’s fist being locked occasionally is a great way to show peoples inability to let go of situations.

This incident and rough existence makes me grateful I have more calming hobbies like playing online gambling casino games and writing movie reviews.

Chloe Zhao’s is both the writer and director, and the movie is a confident portrayal of the metaphor of being unable to let go.

The movie debuted in 2017 at the Cannes Film Festival and generated a landslide of nominations at this year’s Film Independent Spirit Awards.

With Zhao, she has made a semi real documentary – with 50 percent of the facts being real and 50 percent exaggerated.

The Good

The central cast of this movie have never acted before – which you would not have guessed from the level of performance they give.

Brady Jandreau’s portrayal of Brady Blackburn is an amazing piece of art from this new actor – he brings a reserve and maturity to the screen that is unexpected.

This story was set around Brady Jandreau after Zhao met him just after his actual rodeo accident, so his portrayal comes across as real – due to a large amount of realism in his own life.

Zhaos first movie Songs My Brother Taught Me also centred around the Sioux, a girl and her older brother and the bleak living conditions they experience. It may seem odd that a Chinese director could portray such a different culture from her own with such accurate and intimate details – but Zhao is definitely a natural at Filmmaking and we can expect many more great projects from her.

The Bad

The bad is very slim pickings in this great work of art. Perhaps a bit to slow for the general public? No overstated announcements – no mellow-dramatic moments? Is this an issue – perhaps for people after an action packed cowboy movie?

So no – no bad really, it just depends on your expectations from a movie

The Verdict

The Rider is a powerful piece of work, weaving together fiction and facts to create an amazingly accurate portrayal of life in the Sioux community. This simple portrayal of a hard life is so good it is wowing critics across and audiences in the film world.

This movie could have easily descended into depression, melancholy and sadness but Zhao manages to create sympathy for each character, without making them targets for pity or hiding the real impact of life.

This is a much watch for movie fans, so go see it for a great view into real lives.  This is one of the best movies released in 2018 so far, an amazing work of art to be viewed an enjoyed.

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