there is actually no romance..
Winterbottom’s poignant western venture is not only depressing but also is demotivating on terms of the gut wrenching darkness it consists. A sloppy adaptation of Hardy’s novel The Mayor Of Casterbridge is still not the primary weakness of this feature. It is undeniably stable and the tone is persistent whose credit goes to the sincerity of the makers that they depict each sequence with and clearly they haven’t taken the material for granted. But unfortunately, mannerism isn’t everything, especially in here. There is actually no romance between the viewers and the movie and even though there are stunning rich visuals that lures the audience and demand attention from the first frame.
There doesn’t rely a genuine reason for you to keep rooting for this world, characters or tale. And the characters are well constructed, just like the storyline, but presumably all of that is Hardy and not Winterbottom. As far as Winterbottom’s work is concerned, there is no fluidity and reasoning to tell such a dry tale. Bentley doesn’t hold up to the character’s range that he is allotted, he seems awfully distracted and aiming for the wrong viewers. Unfortunately, Jovovich too feels short handed on supporting him.
The only savior of this on-screen-host is Mullan in his ethically challenged role that puts him in a bitter spot of regret and mourne. And he with his rage and reserved act expresses it beautifully on screen; also his track is much more compelling than others. Armed with such a potential script, Winterbottom misses an opportunity to create an emotionally driven complex western drama and instead ends up on a mellow note which actually should have been thrilling and exuberant for the viewers. The Claim is apt description of a good intention gone wrong, what it could have been is never explored and what it has to be doesn’t have a concrete ground to stand on.