The meaning of life has been a question that many have pondered for generations. For some that meaning is never found, but for others it is, a feeling of fitting in. For me it has always been about film and writing about them gives me a satisfaction that I don’t find in many parts of my life. In Chloé Zhao’s film “The Rider” that question is looked at again as man must cope with that question after an accident robs him of the thing he feels he was meant to do on this earth.
Brady’s (Brady Jandreau) life is the rodeo and that is taken from him when he has an accident while riding a horse. We see Brady after the accident as he wakes up at home with a head full of staples with regret over what happened. For Brady the rodeo wasn’t something he was just good at, it was his life as he sees it. Horses were put on this earth to roam and cowboys were out here to ride them. Getting used to life without the thing he loves is proving to be difficult for Brady as everything around him reminds him of his former life. Most of his recovery time is spent around everything he loves and his friends and family tow the line on what to do and say as Brady assures them all he will be back. Slowly he starts to realize he will never be able to return to that life and the thing he believes that defines him could eventually kill him.
“The Rider” is a film that will move you in ways that few movies will this year. What makes this story so special is the fact that the actors are playing themselves or as close a version as possible. Zhao who was looking for a way to put Brady Jandreau in a film when his accident gave her the story to do that. It is that reason that the film takes you to the places it takes you as it feels like life is unfolding before your eyes. The performance by Brady is awe inspiring as not only is he the star, but he also lived this in his real life the movie is not only about who he was and but who he is to become. Usually May is reserved for super hero movies or other blockbusters chasing the all mighty dollar and while those are fine it is a film like this that fills our movie souls. This ones is so special as is everyone who is made it happen and when it comes to riding away in the sunset, this is one rider you will be sad to see go.