The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford  Review: A Tale of Fame & Infamy
Powered by stellar performances from Brad Pitt & Casey Affleck, boosted by Roger Deakins’ inventive cinematography, and expertly steered by Andrew Dominik’s polished direction, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford chronicles the life & times of a legendary American outlaw with an equally mournful & mesmerising eye, and makes for a fascinating meditation on fame & infamy.
An extensively researched, immaculately photographed & thoroughly engrossing period piece that captures its bygone era with an equally mournful & mesmerising eye, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford chronicles the life of a legendary outlaw whose murder at the hands of one of his own men catapulted his legacy to a mythical status in American lore, and it also happens to be one of the finest westerns of 21st century.
Written & directed by Andrew Dominik, the film is crafted with remarkable care and narrated with great composure, as the plot unfolds at an unhurried pace and allows plenty of space for the characters to breathe. Filmed in the same manner as earlier examples of its genre, each n every character gets sufficient screen time and their relationship with both James & Ford is wonderfully explored. And though the pace is slow & relaxed, it rarely becomes an issue.
Coming to the performances, the film packs a talented ensemble in Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Sam Rockwell, Jeremy Renner, Sam Shepard, Paul Schneider & more, with Pitt & Affleck stealing the show. Both actors deliver strong inputs in their individual roles but they are even more compelling as a duo, thanks to the arresting chemistry between the two that brims with a certain tension. Lastly, the film’s melancholic aura is all the more enlivened by its beautifully evocative score.