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The Rider

This is a wonderful contemporary cowboy-western film set in the South Dakota Badlands region. Brady Blackburn (played by Brady Jandreau) is a young rodeo star, who rides broncos. One day, he has a terrible accident that has left him with a metal plate in his head.  Suddenly, he finds that he cannot ride or train horses, and he must find a new sense of purpose in his life. There are so many really great things about this film. The cinematography is gorgeous; the film is beautiful to look at from start to finish.  I did not realize until I did some reading after the fact that the film is inspired by events that actually happened to Brady Jandreau; and, the actors who play his father and sister are the same relation to Brady in real life. None of these three has any professional training, yet the acting is stellar, particularly Brady who has a charisma that is evident in every scene. The fact that they are untrained, and the expert cinematography, results in a film that feels so natural, almost documentary-like. Huge thumbs up from me for a film that feels so authentic in the way it depicts cowboy life, the west, and the struggle on how to redefine a life’s purpose when all that has led to the present has become an integral part of how one defines himself as a man. This is a film that should have very wide appeal, especially all you horse-lovers out there.

About Gary Burkholder

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