The Ballad of Lefty Brown

posted 15 May 2018, 13:38 by Paul Woodward

Genre: Western

Stars: Bill Pullman / Kathy Baker / Peter Fonda / Jim Caviezel / Tommy Flanagan

Director: Jared Moshe

Certificate: 15

Run Time: 1hr 51mins

Year: 2017

Western centred around sidekick Lefty Brown, who is a bit of a bumbler and unreliable but fiercely loyal to his friends. He works on his log time friend Edward Johnson’s ranch who is running to be a senator – the two other friends that make up the group are Tom Harrah who is a Marshall and Jimmy Bierce who is a Governor. Johnson is shot and killed and Lefty Brown takes it upon himself to track down the killer and bring him to justice. Along the way he bumps into a young idealistic kid Jeremiah Perkins who is stranded after his horse dies and he join’s Lefty on his hunt.

The Ballad Of Lefty Brown is a real old school western in its tone and flow – modernised violence and grit but its story harks back to the Westerns of old. Themes of friendship, loyalty, greed and justice are all touched on. It’s a decent film and looks really good for an independent film, lots of beautiful cinematography help sell the aesthetic appeal of this film.

Pullman has a great character to sink his teeth into and gives Lefty a real endearing quality whose loyalty and devotion is admirable. The film circles around what it is to be a ‘hero’ mainly through the eyes of the kid Jeremiah, and the film reveals Lefty is a hero in his own right and for all his faults he has many admirable qualities – these are the reasons Johnson was so loyal in return and also why he is popular with his long-time friends.

The always brilliant Kathy Baker is wonderful as the stoic wife of Johnson - Laura, who deals with the loss of her husband and her lack of faith in Lefty making for some great scenes. She never hides her feelings on Lefty and never understands her husband’s total faith in his friend who she sees as useless bum who gets through life tagging along on her husband’s deeds and heroism. Lefty is always humble, self-deprecating and regardless of others sticks to his guns and what he believes is right and never leaves a friend stranded – So the ending is that much more powerful when he makes a big sacrifice to save Laura further trouble.

Tommy Flanagan and Jim Caviezel also deliver great performances and whilst this is Pullman’s film by a country mile, not just in performance but screen time, it does have a touch of an ensemble piece with well fleshed out characters. Flanagan should get some plaudits for his performance as the conflicted Marshall with a heart wrenching back story.

If you’re not a Western fan you may not get wrapped up in this film the way I did. Regardless of your tastes though there is no denying this is a well shot film with great dialogue, characters, cinematography and superfluous acting especially from Pullman!

Great film, western fans will definitely adore it. Some fine acting and themes of loyalty and to never judge someone on face value make for a very entertaining film.

8/10

Review By Woody

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