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    The power of the dog, Campion’s toxic western

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    (ANSA) – ROME, NOV 17 – Never as in the case of IL POTERE DEL CANE (The Power of the Dog) by Jane Campion, already in the running for the Golden Lion in Venice and in theaters starting today with Lucky Red and on Netflix from December 1st, the length, 125 minutes, has a legitimate reason for being. The film with Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons and Kodi Smit-McPhee has its own slow, toxic trend, because what is turning out to be the story has its timing and is just one of the possible developments suggested by the plot.

    Netflix film, based on the novel of the same name by Thomas Savage (published in Italy by Neri Pozza), takes us to Montana, in 1920 in a post-western. Introverted breeder Phil Burbank (Benedict Cumberbatch) inspires fear and awe to all around him.

    When mild-mannered and more cultured brother George (the great Jesse Plemons) brings home his new wife, widow Rose (Kirsten Dunst), with her son, Phil is not willing to accept those he considers only strangers and them begins to haunt in a no holds barred war.

    But it can be said that if this is the minimum plot, what happens next is linked to emotional landslides of the characters as surprising as they are impossible to tell without spoilers. But one thing is certain that Rose’s son, Peter (the long-limbed Australian actor Kodi Smit-McPhee) who appears very quietly only halfway through the film will eventually be a real protagonist.

    Key phrase of THE POWER OF THE DOG? Its own title. It is a passage from the Bible, a psalm that reads ‘Save the soul from the sword, save the heart from the power of the dog’. Which in the old testament means the ability and awareness of the rich and powerful to be able to oppress the poor and those who have no power whatsoever. (HANDLE).

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