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Netflix’s film The Power of the Dog is one of the favorites to triumph at the next Oscars gala. Expert critics have given it the thumbs up, but there are many — too many — viewers who have shown their dissatisfaction with the film directed by Jane Campion.
As usual with woke productions, there is a big difference of opinion between the specialized critics and the public, who are usually blamed for the failure of the films.
If you didn’t like it either, these are five of the reasons that, according to the mainstream media, could explain this difference of criteria between the infallible academic critics and you, simple mortal. Finally, we will give you an additional reason that would explain your dissatisfaction with the film.
You don’t understand seventh art if you don’t appreciate The Power of the Dog
Based on the 1967 novel of the same name written by Thomas Savage, The Power of the Dog is a late western set in 1925 Montana. As the pioneer Brokeback Mountain did, this film deconstructs the western genre, moving away from its usual themes and dealing with very deep issues with great subtlety and very high technical and artistic quality.
The contemplative cinematography and excellent photography showing for a long time the landscapes of Montana are simply breathtaking.
When they don’t dwell on the Montana landscape, they focus their attention on the feelings of the actors who are fantastic at lecturing us on themes such as love, suffering, resentment, jealousy, and homosexuality, which are things you don’t expect from a western. But hey, if you don’t enjoy it, it’s because you lack enough sensitivity and knowledge about cinema to be able to appreciate them.
You are homophobic
In fact, it is very likely that your ignorance comes with atavistic beliefs such as homophobia, and that’s why you didn’t like it. The film tells the story of a crotchety rancher — Benedict Cumberbatch — who finds his ranching routine disrupted when his brother — Jesse Plemons — brings his new wife — Kirsten Dunst — and her effeminate brother — Kodi Smit McPhee — to live with him.
The cantankerous cattle magnate finds that this unforgiving world of rough men is no place for his mannered putative nephew, whom he mocks and treats with cruelty and contempt.
Obviously, behind this facade of toxic masculinity lies a repressed homosexual who begins to come out with the presence of the delicate teenager.
At last, Netflix has dared to deal with a subject such as homosexuality, criticizing toxic masculinity. This is a taboo subject that the platform has had the courage to address, since almost no one talks about it. It would be appropriate for the Academy to show the same courage by awarding The Power of the Dog, if possible, with many Oscars (although some will say it is for quota).
You are a misogynist because The Power of the Dog is a film made by and for women
If you didn’t like the film, it is very likely that you are also a misogynist, and not only because Kirsten Dunst masterfully unmasks machismo and how much women have always suffered throughout history, but also because the film is directed by a woman, Jane Campion.
Even if you didn’t know that the director was a woman, it shows, and it has negatively influenced your vision of the film. You were probably expecting a testosterone-laden western with lots of gun play, horse chases, and showing men trying to tame nature in order to survive. You have found a work of art full of subtleties, deep messages without words, and silences that make you rethink your patriarchal conception of the world.
If so, you need to watch more films like The Power of the Dog — or this one on loop — until you deconstruct your toxic masculinity.
You’re a far-right sympathizer
At this point, it goes without saying that all of the above comes in the pack of ultra-right-wing people, incapable of understanding the real problems that plague humanity, such as lack of compassion, oppression of minorities, youth and female anxiety, or the need to rewrite history to reflect the best and highest possible values, i.e., progressive ones.
The Power of the Dog does a magnificent job in this regard, and if you didn’t like it, it’s because you still lack the sensitivity and values that make up a good person. There is still time to change. You can start by not criticizing this film, say that you loved it, and be happy that it will win as many awards as possible.
Hey, maybe it’s just that The Power of the Dog isn’t that good….
Finally, it is possible that you didn’t like it because you simply consider it long and tedious. You were expecting something else, or even because you’re a bit fed up with the woke culture, which insists not only on shoehorning all its fetish themes into movies, but also wants to demolish the classics that don’t fit its worldview.
This time it has been the turn of the western genre, but don’t worry, maybe this fad will pass and with it the fear of being canceled, and you can openly say again that you found The Power of the Dog to be trash. In spite of the many Oscars, it will win in the end, because that’s what it’s all about now.
Ignacio Manuel García Medina, Business Management teacher. Artist and lecturer specialized in Popular Culture for various platforms. Presenter of the program "Pop Libertario" for the Juan de Mariana Institute. Lives in the Canary Islands, Spain // Ignacio M. García Medina es profesor de Gestión de Empresas. Es miembro del Instituto Juan de Mariana y conferenciante especializado en Cultura Popular e ideas de la Libertad.
Social Networks: @ignaciomgm