Updated: Feb 4
Tom Hanks stars in an emotional ride across the Western plains. A performance that is his first dip into the genre, Hanks wears the hat and takes the reigns, but his connection with his young co-star is what propels News Of The World to new heights.
Written by Elliot Lines
Captain Jefferson Kid (Tom Hanks) is a Civil war veteran who now spends his time travelling across the country, from town to town, reading the news to the people. On his travels he comes across a young girl Johanna (Helena Zengel), who was abducted by the Kiowa tribe only to be orphaned by further fighting and death. Captain Kid is tasked to return her to a known family member, taking us on a long cross country journey.
It is easy to think that any time Hanks is attached to a project, it will be ten times better, this may be the case, but we shall never know here. His on screen connection with Helena Zengel is evident for all to see, the young actress goes toe to toe with the screen legend, not afraid to attempt to take the screen away from him. This works perfectly for these characters, building their relationship naturally, ready for the big emotional inevitable end. The care for each other is obvious when a moment reminiscent of a scene George Clooney's latest film, The Midnight Sky, panic ensues and the worry is released.
Not only concentrating on character development, we are also spoilt with some tense action scenes. Placing this only about 40 minutes into the film, the intense scene lasts long enough to feel that tension to full effect. You may know what the outcome will be, but that doesn't takeaway the impact this scene has.
Directed by Paul Greengrass, his signature wobbly cam is nowhere to be seen here. Throughout we are blessed with beautifully stylised camera shots, making full use of the natural light baring down across these vast lands and muddy towns, setting the scene perfectly.
There are many instances where the presence of Tom Hanks will have a massive affect on the outcome, and sure his name will naturally bring in viewers. But News Of The World shouldn't just be watched for this sole reason, Greengrass has produced a beautifully made film with a compelling and emotional story.
News Of The World releases on Netflix on February 10, 2021.