Directed by John Maclean, Slow West is so typical of the true frontier that the movie chases away the notions of the true hero of the Old West. Starring Kodi Smit-McPhee as Jay Cavendish, who is a lovelorn young Scot traveling by horse in the unforgiving frontier. He is hoping to find his lady love, Rose Ross, played brilliantly by Caren Pistorius. Jay comes from a wealthy family, so he isn’t prepared for the rugged terrain and its outlaws.
Rose and her father fled Scotland to escape the law after they accidentally murdered Jay’s relative. Jay has no idea the woman he hopes to find and marry is a fugitive. Just like Scotland’s lore, he is following his heart.
Silas played exceptionally well by Michael Fassbender is a gun slinging outlaw. Fassbender is also one of the movie’s producers. He meets Jay by opportunity and guides him through the frontier in search of his lady love. He promises to keep him alive for fifty dollars now and fifty dollars more when they find Rose.
Jay and Silas are total opposites, so they are not the best of buddies. Silas is a bounty hunter, who shoots first and asks questions later. Jay is refined and mature in respectability. He even gets them out of some scrapes now and then. As if the frontier isn’t hard enough on them, they have a gang of bounty hunters following close behind. The gang is led by Payne played menacingly by Ben Mendelsohn. He and the other bounty hunters are looking to collect $2000 reward for Rose and her father, dead or alive.
Slow West won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, so it has the strength of really good movie. Yet, it is a simple but distressing story that foretells the end through Jay’s dreams. On the other hand, like a Western the story has gun fights, deaths and drunkenness, and the ending is more real than the great Westerns of Old Hollywood.