Jenn Rohm Reviews "The Rider"
In “The Rider”, a new film directed and written by Chloé Zhao, I am reminded of the Rodeo genre films from the early ‘70s. By telling the story of a young cowboy rediscovering himself after a near fatal injury takes away everything that defines him, this particular film adds a new dimension on the genre. Not only are Brady Jandreau (Brady Blackburn), Tim Jandreau (Wayne Blackburn), and Lily Jandreau (Lily Blackburn) all of the Lakota Tribe, from South Dakota were cast as the healing Rodeo star, father, and sister, they are all actually family to each other in the same way that the fictionalized versions of them are. Add to that the fact that the film itself is based on real-life happenings to Brady, and it brings its impact to another level by lending real depth and credibility.
Brady himself even has double credit, as he is also one of the horse trainers, which is also how he met Zhao when she was filming her feature debut, “Songs My Brother Taught Me,” and this could be another underground hit as awards such as the C.I.C.A.E from Cannes Film Festival, Deauville Film Festival, Palm Springs International Film Festival, all in the last twelve months. There are also sub-plots with Brady’s rodeo friends (also his friends in real life), showing how life is defined by how masculine you are, and what do you do when you can’t just rub some dirt on it and get back on the horse. The heartland of America is beautiful and we wonderfully captured by some amazing shots that show the prairies in all of its glory. Bear in mind that this is not a mainstream type of film, so it is possible that you will leave the theater with deep thoughts more than lighthearted laughter.