The Power of the Dog is an arthouse western, written for the screen and directed by Jane Campion, who came to worldwide prominence following her 1993 film, The Piano, which
should tell you a lot about what sort of film this is.
It’s a slow-burning drama centred around two rancher brothers, one volatile and obnoxious (Phil), and the other gentler and more amiable (George). Their relationship becomes fractured when George marries a widowed inn owner, who Phil considers a parasite and begins to psychologically torment her and her
The performances of the four principal characters are all excellent, and while it is very slowly paced, the atmospheric direction from Jane Campion does a great job in creating
It was marketed as being about toxic masculinity, but it’s far more about repressed behaviour and the animalistic nature of emotion.
It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea for certain, but I thought it was incredibly well made, even if it was quite drawn out.