Movie Review

HED: Netflix’s Godless: The More Than Wild West

DEK: Blood And Fire Light The Tunnel Of Damnation

BYLINE: Josiah Akhtab


            Netflix’s 2017 TV Miniseries, “Godless,” created by Scott Frank, surprises with an interesting spin on life in the countryside. “Godless” places women on the forefront as pioneers and reveals the strength they possess as impending darkness in the form of gangs descend on their town.

            Ruthless outlaw, Frank Griffin (Jeff Daniels), terrorizes the west in search of a former member of his gang, Roy Goode (Jack O’Connell), who’s found a quiet and peaceful life in a town populated by women.

The series captured viewers’ attention immediately, creating an ominous and mysterious and frightening air that mesmerized and, if not, enthralled them. It took people back to a time where God’s existence was highly questionable as blood, death, and tragedy ruled the day.

The plot thickened at a consistent pace, never going so fast as to lose the viewers and not going so slow as to bore them. Though each episode ran about the length of a movie, viewers were able to follow every step of the way.

The actors performed superbly, capturing that gruff, tough, and tormented nature of people in the west, revealing how everyone went through their own trials and tribulations as well as made it easy to distinguish between the protagonist and antagonist.

The characters were very convincing. It was easy to relate to them as their pains, torments, and conditions, such as blindness, resonate with viewers as the characters reflect how the average person goes through everyday life.

The writers did admirably in encompassing the dialect in which western people spoke at that period. They, the writers, managed to introduce viewers to a wild, corrupt world that also had its peaceful moments; thus, guiding viewers gracefully through the blood and fire.

The writers also captured the essence of the protagonist, Roy Goode. Making him super talented with a weapon and good-natured, though he’s been associated with a terrible crowd that robbed trains and burned towns down, crafting the protagonist in the right light.

The religiously lyrical music captured the motif of death, blood, and fire perfectly. How the churchgoers and survivors of tragedy sing the praises of the lord above filled viewers with the unbreakable spirit and impression that God is still with them no matter what happens.

The wretched and uncompromising tone accentuated the darkness within the townspeople and characters perfectly. The large, unsettled lands, beaming sun, and near pitch-black nights add weight to the storyline of the series making it more appealing to viewers.

The setting helped viewers navigate the western period splendidly. The simple construction of towns, broken twigs and branches in the woods, desert lands, and plateaus and mountains symbolized freedom and anarchy at any given moment.

The cinematography implanted the right images at the right angles to keep viewers in the series by foreshadowing the next tragedy that’d strike any given town. The clarity of specific scenes presented a clear picture of what would occur throughout the series on one form or another.

The motif of religion, blood, fire, and death was strikingly apparent throughout the series. There wasn’t any subtly in the conflicting morals and beliefs of ordinary churchgoers and the gangs that terrorized the west.

The motif also revealed the reason gangs and outlaws opposed the religious institution through their pasts. Showing how a catastrophic and calamitous upbringing either strengthened or broke the beliefs people had in God at the time.

Overall, the series enthralled any viewer who gave it a chance. It brought the hypocrisy of Christianity to the forefront as well as the question of whether God was or wasn’t present in that time, a question most thought and still think about, but are afraid to ask.

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