Sergio Leone‘s masterpiece.
Revenge is about patience, and agility. Harmonica, (a mysterious Charles Bronson) is looking for Frank (a breathtaking Henry Fonda), and determined to achieve a, so far, blurry goal.
Stories, within stories, meant to to converge at one point, and characters that will experience a life change. The italian director mastered all the elements, and details of his movie, preventing us to get confused, and arousing out excitement, and curiousness.
Once Upon A Time In The West is not like every other western, its bold, not prude, and rough. Morals aren’t. Shoot-out, murders, robberies, those are part of a quotidian, of the population’s daily lives. An eye for an eye. Money is the first interest of desperadoes, and gunslingers, nothing else. If you have money, you’ll sure risk to die very soon.
The movie deals with an important aspect of this ancient life: trivialization of immoral acts. Therefore, Claudia Cardinale plays the role of a prostitute from New Orleans, coming into the West to marry a rich men, and forget about her past life. However, things gets spicy, and she will find herself, having to use her physical assets, and work skills, to stay alive. There’s no place for mercy. It’s a manly world, violent and unforgivable. Indeed, despite Jill (Cardinal’s character), the only women showed in the movie, dies during the first minutes of the movie. Misogynistic? Not a place for a woman to be? After all, westerns are meant for boys; women are just like money, trophies, but here again, Leone, is revisiting the genre.
He gave birth to a timeless movie, living his landmark in The History of Cinema. He gave his interpretation of what could be a Western’s fairytale, and succeeded in convincing his audience, of the authenticity of his work and story, through the outstanding performances of his actors.
The slow rhythm hypnotizing, pushed us to hold out breath, and wait for what will happen next. Everything is about, be prepared to danger, having an eye everywhere, be careful to the slightest noise, or observing the slightest movement. And this tension, is gripping, and taking us hostages of the unpredictable following.
I believe, Sergio Leone, did an amazing work, bewitching the youngest and oldest ones. Westerns’ll never die, and that’s a comfortable belief.