FINALLY! After 5 crap films in a row, I finally get a good one! Normally, if I were channel surfing on TV and something like this came on, the teenage in me would change it over straight away. I regret that now. The westerns are actually pretty damn cool. Especially Clint Eastwood who, because of this movie, is slowly becoming one of my favourite directors.
The movie begins and we’re straight into the action and the reason why he is ‘the Outlaw’ Josey Wales. We get a small glimpse of the Wales’s family life and how normal it all seems. Next thing you know, the house is on fire, his wife is taken away to be raped and murdered and you hear the screams of his poor son who, I think, was in the fire. The next scene is beyond tragic. A parent should never have to bury their child. I think its only something like 10 minutes in and I was already attached to the Wales character and felt everything he felt. I almost cried when you saw how damaged Josey was when he buried his son and broke down on his cross; such a powerful scene. It’s the only real emotion that we witness throughout the whole movie. We see the emotion at the beginning so we know that he does care [so much!] and that he’s doing it all out of pure love, even if he doesn’t necessarily show it.
There is a montage after this opening and the opening credits run on top of it. I like the idea of introducing the story first and then showing the opening credits. The montage also pushed the story along so that the audience know what Josey has been doing with the group of people he joined; the pro-Confederate Missouri guerrillas. I felt rather inspired by this montage as its not just one clip after another but clips overlap each other. You have the main clip and then a slightly faded clip on top. it’s the perfect way to use all the clips you’ve shot and show more of what’s happening!
This film had some awesome lines which I took notes of [they may not be word for word, sorry!]: “…before I kick your ass so hard you’ll be wearing it as a hat”, “don’t piss on my back and tell me its raining” and “…there are three types of sun; sunshine, sunflowers and sons of a bitches.” The ‘piss on my back, raining’ one is one that I think I’ll probably use if someone ever backstabbed me, it just sums up backstabbing perfectly! And those three were only some of the fantastic lines that were said in this movie; round of applause for the writers!
One of the reasons I think made this film so brilliant and non-boring, is that there are so many camera angles! Unless you’ve done film studies in your education, you probably don’t notice the camera angles. After studying films studies for 2 years, I can’t help but notice! I honestly don’t think this film would of worked if all the shots were done at the same level and angle. I think Eastwood used every angle in the book which makes it so interesting for the audience as its not repetitive. You have some classic shots of beautiful landscape and the character using up only a small part of the screen. This was used by Ang Lee as well, so know I see where he got his inspiration from!
There was one scene that unintentionally made me laugh. Josey Wales has just bought groceries [I think, well, its food supplies anyway] and he’s walking out the shop and someone goes “Oh my God, its Josey Wales!” and I couldn’t help but go “and he has groceries!” Yet, even though he had neatly wrapped packages of food, he still looked menacing. Not many people can do that.
One of the last scenes made me think about humanity and psychology. Josey dry fires his pistols at the man who was responsible for his wife and child’s deaths. He does it with a look on his face that you’d associate with a mass-murderer. He looks like he’s really shooting his pistols but there are no bullets. I don’t know why this is more terrifying! I honestly can’t explain it. I suppose he wanted the man to be nervous and scared for his life, or something. I don’t know! It was just an awesome scene.
This was my first western that I’ve seen the whole way through and its certainly changed my mind about them! In a couple of days, I’m watching The Magnificent Seven, and I wait with great anticipation! However, it oddly made me want to watch a romcom after it.
Oh, and Clint Eastwood snores like my mum [tehehe].