the rider

Director: Chloe Zhao (songs my brothers taught me)

Starring: brady jandreau, mooney, tim jandreau, and lily jandreau

 

REVIEWER: emily carter

★★

After a riding accident leaves him unable to compete on the rodeo circuit, a young cowboy searches for a new purpose.

Brady lives and breathes the rodeo, until a brutal skull fracture puts the only life he knows on pause. The quiet and ambling pace of The Rider follows Brady's choices towards finding plan B.

 

Like a modern and artful take on a Western film, The Rider pairs beautiful country landscapes with the poverty of a tough, rural life; a born-and-bred cowboy with the hardship that comes with a one-track life plan; boyish pals and a broken family life - overall a sometimes head-scratching mix that makes The Rider a hard one to really gather your thoughts about.

 

Brady is so sweet and gritty, but with minimal script, and the slow amble of the kind-of-there plot, my first impressions of The Rider were left a little blank. It's hard to focus on what's happening, because in parts you wonder if there's anything happening at all.

 

But like the duality of so many factors of this film, my thoughts became very split when I discovered The Rider has a cast made up completely of non-actors, and the main character Brady really did suffer a head injury during a rodeo in 2016, and the scenes of him breaking in a wild horse? He REALLY is breaking in a wild horse at that very moment.

 

Do a little homework and the film may seem hugely intriguing, but it's hard to stay bright-eyed in this slow-paced plot.

★★

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The Rider is available on DVD and digital from all good disc and digital retailers. 

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