News of the World – Movie Reviews by Ry!

News of the World – A Journey’s Word: Hearts on a Western Road

The weathering of life is filled with timeless adventures.  When translating these to a story medium, it becomes prudent to be able to take this and transform it into an endearment of one’s journey.  In this latest review, I look at a story that takes us down a path with heartwarming results.  In this Tom Hank’s led Western, we see the strength of life’s renewed hope.  News of the World takes you down a familiar road, but one where one’s man journey becomes the heart of us all.      

In the years after the Civil War, Captain Kidd (Tom Hanks) and Johanna (Helena Zengal) seek to find their place in this new world.  With an unexpected path together, this unlikely pairing leads to a place where light may shine a renewed purpose on the world.  The beginning is a general introduction to the main characters, plot and key/inciting incidents.  We have Captain Kidd, a Civil War veteran that travels around providing news to towns on the Texas plains.  In his travels, he comes across (inciting incident) Johanna, a young girl that has been abandoned.  After some conversational pieces, Kidd decides that it is his mission (key incident) to bring this girl to her last living relatives.  From this point, the story revolves around the three foundational pieces of any typical Western: slow/methodical pacing, character-oriented journey and atmospheric world building.  Paul Greengrass (writer/director) stays true to these elements while leveling it within rawness of humanistic fervor.  Within a linear journey, he blends the familiar withing realistic motifs, bringing worth to the solemn.  The characters of typical archetypes exhibit growth that provides prudence to tides of consequence.  With stark contrast of indifference, their troubled past is slowly revealed.  This path of slow maturation provides healing through situational moments.  The methodical growth reels in the audience, providing a genuine escape in the common.

As their relationship grows, Kidd and Johanna begin to find solace in their journey.  Placed against each situation, the recognizable elements strike a heartfelt tone within the backdrop of the Texas landscape.  The atmosphere molds within the moments, allowing for that renewed sense of living.  As each situation becomes a test of will, it strikes a heart of hope for the two characters.  Coming to terms with their past, fate and circumstance weaves a delicate thread of importance of their bond.  Staggering along a crossroads of sorts, conversational set pieces lead into a third act of ultimate truths.  Even when things are predictable to a tee, the climax provides that wholesome lift above its foundational course.  News of the World is a western built around many traditional norms, but provides a heartfelt journey that all can enjoy.  If you are a fan of Tom Hanks, Western or character journeys, this is one for you.  It is definite fun time at the theaters.   

Full Score – 3.5 out of 5 (Matinee)

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