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TIFF 2017 Review: “The Rider” (2017) ★★★★★

What will happen to a bird with clipped wings or locked in cage? Disabled bird or being kept indoor won’t have a positive impact on it, the same as with a cowboy if similar things were to happen.

Brady Blackburn has suffered a serious head injury that could have easily claimed his life if he were not so lucky. After going through difficult recovery, rather emotional than physical, a young cowboy realizes he might not be able to do anything else other than attend rodeo or ride horses. But as it always happens in life, the choice should always be made to move on from wherever you are stuck. And Brady makes this known to those he loves the most that have already gave him a serious sign to stop and make his life more stable and free from any type of injuries…

Brady, as it appears, is a very stubborn man. He knows that with constant dizziness he can’t ride horses or continue being a cool cowboy. But he also needs to support his family. Frankly, he does not have enough qualifications to work in the construction field. When he receives a few rejections, Brady comprehends the importance of being more pro-active… As he tries to find his new self, the man will have to go through the journey inside of his head to find that little locker and free himself from the ideal life he always wanted to have, but a life that can end his living any time soon…

THE RIDER written and directed by Chloe Zhao is a docudrama with non-actors. Brady Jandreau’s job is to be himself as much as he can. And he was. And that’s why Zhao’s idea worked really well. With her film, it felt like a great way to grow and learn with someone who has so much to expect from this life, but asks for little, that little thing that is about to become the most dangerous step in his life. And another way for us to see the importance of being cowboy and its painful side is when you no longer can be one.



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