The Power of the Dog is a surprisingly complex film. What seems like one thing at the beginning quickly transforms into something completely different by the end, and the film’s shocking ending will certainly hit you over the head. The cinematography of Ari Wegner is excellent, with breathtaking wide-angle shots of vast landscapes and lingering shots of human faces. The New Zealand film was shot in the Otago region of the country, which serves as rural Montana in the 1920s.
Campion’s “The Power of the Dog”
The story of Phil Burbank (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a classic American one, but this film is anything but traditional. Set in the open country of Montana, it follows a man who has been raising cattle for decades. He rarely bathes and even castrates bull calves with his bare hands and a blade. However, Phil’s swagger and wit make him a unique character in the world of filmmaking.
The film’s title is a bible verse that reflects the power of love. The premise of the film revolves around an unexpected connection between a man and his dog, as the two characters are drawn from completely different worlds. Phil’s toxic behavior causes Rose to spiral into alcoholism and severe anxiety, and Peter’s savvy and unique skills allow him to get rid of Phil.
The Power of the Dog is a surprisingly slow film, barely moving in time and space. Instead, it focuses on the relationships between the two main characters, Peter and Phil. Their macho exterior hides a longing for companionship, while Peter’s effeminate mannerisms cover cunning. Although the film is not overly long, it’s interesting to see both characters grow.
The power of the dog is the constant reminder of Phil’s superiority, and his position of power over nature and land. However, it is his nimble imagination that makes him see the smiles and frowns in the clouds, as well as the faces of terror. He also perceives the tunes in the wind, a gift that allows him to perceive The Hound on the Hill. Phil’s ability to make patterns out of facts about Nature allows him to see what others couldn’t.
The cinematography of The Power of the Dog is stunning, with stunning landscapes and lush greenery. The film was shot in New Zealand’s sparse Hawkdun Ranges, a landscape that has similarities to Montana. Campion deemed the central character, Phil Burbank, as “one of the greatest fictional characters of all time.” Burbank is a brilliant cattle rancher who also suffers from homophobia and is a bit of a jerk.
The Power of the Dog is an unusual film for Campion, who spent a year working on it. This gave Wegner the chance to understand Campion’s intentions and to know where to place the camera. The camera moves to capture each moment perfectly. Even the most remote scene is beautifully shot, with the help of a drone. The lighting and cinematography of The Power of the Dog is striking, capturing the mood and the emotional reality of the story.
“The Power of the Dog,” a film that is streaming on Netflix, confronts the core of American behavior. Set in a pre-modern world, the film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as a bully cowboy who tries to make friends with women. Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons also star. Rated R, “The Power of the Dog” is a gripping movie that focuses on the emotional costs of running a cattle ranch.
The film has the hallmarks of a classic Western but deconstructs familiar tropes with a contemporary twist. Jane Campion masterfully explores toxic masculinity and social conformity. There’s a certain charm to the movie’s storyline, but this is not for everyone. I’d strongly recommend it.