Netflix has released a stunning teaser for their upcoming western, The Power of the Dog, with Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead. Written and directed by famed New Zealand filmmaker, Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog is an adaptation of Thomas Savage’s 1967 novel of the same name. In the film, Cumberbatch plays Phil Burbank, a domineering rancher in Montana, who inspires fear and awe in those around him. You can check out the teaser below.
Oscar-nominated filmmaker, Jane Campion best known for directing 1993’s The Piano is helming The Power of the Dog. The film marks her return to feature films in more than a decade since 2009’s Bright Star. Also, The Power of the Dog marks the first time Benedict Cumberbatch is playing a cowboy, and fans couldn’t be more excited. Cumberbatch has been in the news lately since featuring in the record-breaking Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer.
Unfortunately, those wanting to hear Cumberbatch trying his hand at a different American accent will have to wait a bit longer because the short teaser only sees him whistling. Though we are sure that Cumberbatch, as talented as he is, won’t disappoint when The Power of the Dog releases this December. While the ambiguous trailer didn’t reveal much about the Netflix film, perhaps the following synopsis will suffice those wanting to know more about The Power of the Dog.
Severe, pale-eyed, handsome, Phil Burbank is brutally beguiling. All of Phil’s romance, power and fragility is trapped in the past and in the land: He can castrate a bull calf with two swift slashes of his knife; he swims naked in the river, smearing his body with mud. He is a cowboy as raw as his hides.
The year is 1925. The Burbank brothers are wealthy ranchers in Montana. At the Red Mill restaurant on their way to market, the brothers meet Rose (Kirsten Dunst), the widowed proprietress, and her impressionable son Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee). Phil behaves so cruelly he drives them both to tears, reveling in their hurt and rousing his fellow cowhands to laughter – all except his brother George (Jesse Plemons), who comforts Rose then returns to marry her.
As Phil swings between fury and cunning, his taunting of Rose takes an eerie form – he hovers at the edges of her vision, whistling a tune she can no longer play. His mockery of her son is more overt, amplified by the cheering of Phil’s cowhand disciples. Then Phil appears to take the boy under his wing. Is this latest gesture a softening that leaves Phil exposed, or a plot twisting further into menace?
The synopsis sure does sound interesting and the teaser too, hints at something darker. The Power of the Dog has recruited a talented batch of people both front and behind the camera. Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, and Kodi Smit-McPhee star in the lead with Thomasin McKenzie, Keith Carradine Francis Conroy, Peter Carrol, and Adam Beach in supporting roles.
Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood is composing the background score while Ari Wegner and Peter Sciberras serve as the cinematographer and editor respectively. The Power of the Dog will have a limited theatrical releaseon November 17, 2021, before streaming exclusively on Netflix from December 01. Judging by its manner and time of release, Netflix is most likely expecting ThePower of the Dog to be a major awards season contender. And with an all-star cast and Palme d’Or winning directing in Jane Campion, ThePower of the Dog might turn out to be one of the better Netflix movies. Let’s hope it doesn’t disappoint.