THE HARDER THEY FALL
The Harder They Fall is a 2021 American Revisionist Western film directed by Jeymes Samuel, who co-wrote the screenplay with Boaz Yakin. It is one of few Westerns whose principal cast members are all Black. Although a fictional film, its characters are based on real cowboys, lawmen and outlaws of the 19th-century American West. The Harder They Fall had its world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival on October 6, 2021. It received a limited release on October 22, 2021, before streaming on Netflix on November 3. The film has received generally positive reviews.
The opening scene is that of the parents of a child (Nat Love) being murdered. After the killing, the murderer (Rufus Buck) used a knife to draw a cross on Nat’s forehead. Nat Love (Jonathan Majors) grows up to become an outlaw that robs other bank robbers, he takes his revenge on the men who perpetrated that crime except for their leader, Rufus Buck (Idris Elba) who is serving a life sentence in Yuma prison.
Later on in the movie, Rufus Buck who had been in prison was released by his gang led by Trudy Smith (Regina King) and Cherokee Bill (Lakeith Stanfield). This sprung a lot of anxiety because Nat Love’s gang had robbed a shipment of gold that originally belonged to Rufus, who needs the money to run the town of Redwood City.
For a man of Rufus Buck’s reputation, you would understand that stealing from him is considered a suicide mission. Nat’s girlfriend Stagecoach Mary is captured by Rufus’s gang and Rufus Buck threatens to kill her. Rufus demands his stolen money and an additional interest before Mary can be released. Rufus tells Nat to steal from a bank to pay up the interest.
However, Nat and his gang were scared that even after the money is paid to Rufus he will still go ahead and kill Mary, a plan is devised. Nat teams up with Bass Reeves (Delroy Lindo), the lawman who originally captured Rufus, as well as his gang. On returning the money, a clash ensues which ends up in Nat Love killing Rufus Buck but before killing him, Buck reveals to Love that they are brothers.
Man kills mother and father, then leaves a mark on their son. Son seeks revenge and realizes there’s a connection between him and the guy. You’ve seen this plot before right? And yes you’re right, it’s Harry Potter.
The Harder They Fall is a mess, but it’s a fun mess. I enjoyed the diverse music that added to the quality and aesthetics of the film, particularly the Yoruba mix in Let’s start(Live) by Fela Anikulapo Kuti and Ginger Baker. The music was not marked by unity or some pattern, but unpredictability.