Bogdan Mirică’s Dogs is the most haunting and gruesome Western to come out of Europe in decades. In Dogs, we meet Roman (Dragoș Bucur, star of the classic Romanian noir Police, Adjective), who has just arrived on a vast plot of vacant land bequeathed to him by his late grandfather, known locally as Uncle Alecu. While selling off Uncle Alecu’s property, Roman learns that the land came into his family under murky circumstances. Then, after coming upon mysterious midnight meetings on the land, Roman discovers exactly what happened on Uncle Alecu’s watch, and why it will be both difficult and dangerous to sell his land: The squatters, led by the fearsome Samir (Snowpiercer’s Vlad Ivanov), are a gang of criminals so dangerous that the local police captain (Romanian cinema legend Gheorghe Visu) is powerless to protect him. After his friend disappears and a detached, chewed-up foot washes up, Roman must either cut his losses or stay and fight. With gorgeous, sunbaked widescreen cinematography and masterful performances by three of Romania’s finest actors, Dogs is a terrifying allegory about class and corruption that builds towards a grim and bloody showdown. With Dogs, Mirică places himself squarely in the Western tradition exemplified by Sam Peckinpah and Anthony Mann.
This film is only available virtually.
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"Part ominous widescreen Western and part Romanian New Wave film, or a film noir mostly shot in broad daylight."
"A very assured feature debut, juggling an accretion of sinister clues and slow-burn allegiances at a low-key pace kept humming thanks to attention-getting widescreen panache."