One of the advantages of having the newly-opened HOME complex in Manchester is that we will hopefully get more of these types of events – this was the official UK premiere of the film, followed by Q&A with the director John Maclean (Michael Fassbender had chosen to launch Macbeth at Cannes instead of being in Manchester for some reason).
Anyway, this is a western with some familiar and some very unfamiliar aspects. The familiar being the lonesome drifting bounty hunter, a gang of baddies on horses, and a journey across the country, to name a few.
The unfamiliar is what makes this film a bit more interesting, and yet also a bit odd.
I’m wondering if the view of the outsider (Scottish director Maclean, Irish/German Fassbender, Australians Ben Mendelsohn and Kodi Smit-McPhee, and the unexpected flora on screen from the New Zealand location shoot) gives not only a different perspective, but also removed me a little from truly feeling like I was in the American west. And yet, we come across immigrants from other places too, which all go to highlight the fact that at this period in time, no-one is actually American, everyone is a settler. Apart from the Native Americans, of course, of whom we see little, but care is taken to allude to how the colonisation of their lands affected their situation.
I didn’t dislike the film, but I didn’t seem to appreciate it as much as others in the audience. And I thought the salt reference was a little on the nose.