‘Hostiles’ Provides Thought-Provoking Twist on the Western

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Hello, and welcome back to another movie review. Today’s movie is Hostiles, directed, written and produced by Scott Cooper. Hostiles is set in 1892 around the end of the Indian Wars and follows U.S. Cavalry Colonel Joseph Blocker (played by Christian Bale), a veteran of the Indian Wars who has a bad reputation of being a ruthless killer. Blocker is tasked with escorting Chief Yellow Hawk, (played by the great Wes Studi) and his family back to his land so he can die with his family, rather than living in a cage cell. Blocker has a profound hatred of Yellow Hawk, as he had brutally murdered his comrades. He is forced to accept the job to avoid court martial and loss of pension. Along their track, Blocker picks up a women by the name of Rosalee Quaid whose family was killed during an Indian raid. Blocker and Yellow Hawk learn to forgive each another and accept that what each them did was in the past should be long forgotten.

Hostiles explores the themes of racism and hatred towards different groups of people, as well as forgiving one another and accepting one’s culture. Hostiles was one of the most underrated movies of 2017, for reasons I don’t know why. Blocker is one of my favorite characters in the past few years. He is confusing and convoluted. There are times you think he is a racist criminal who deserves to be in jail forever, and yet at the same time he is not. One of his best friends is a buffalo soldier who has served under Blocker for years and the both of them love and care about each other deeply as the audience learns through their interactions. He is caring and respectful, in especially how he treats Rosalee throughout the movie. Blocker is pure example of how the landscape has shaped him. He does not hate the natives because they are different from him. He hates them because they murdered and brutally scalped his friends. War has torn him apart, but even in the end, Blocker has the respect and dignity to forgive Yellow Hawk and understand that he and the rest of America have intruded and taken over his land.

Scott Cooper directs and writes this movie perfectly, giving the audience a different style of the western genre. Instead of glorifying the gunslingers and the outlaw style, he focuses on the hardships and difficulties of living on the terrain and how our interactions with the land and it’s people shape who we are. Max Richter’s score is very well done, composing another solid score that proves he is one of the best composers today. Christian Bale’s performance is spectacular as well as Rosamund Pike’s. I highly recommend you see this movie, as it’s on Netflix It is very entertaining and thought provoking. I give it 4/4 stars and a solid two thumbs up.