“Cassidy Red” is a western fable chronicling the existential struggle of protagonist Josephine “Joe” Cassidy (Abby Eiland), the daughter of a prostitute and a drunken gunslinger. When she is led to believe that her Apache lover, Jakob Yazzie (Jason Grasl) has been murdered by her scornful ex-fiancé, Tom Hayes (David Thomas Jenkins), Joe immediately seeks retribution. But when she returns to her hometown at the southern edge of the Arizona Territory, she not only finds Tom to have installed himself as the dictatorial local sheriff, she also discovers Jakob to be alive and incarcerated. With nowhere else to turn she enlists her estranged father Cort Cassidy (Rick Cramer) to sharpen her quick draw skills as she prepares for the impending showdown. Torn between love, hate, loyalty and vengeance, her path to satisfaction spirals out of control. Soon Joe and Jakob are back together but behind bars. Awaiting execution, the lovers must find a way to escape, shoot their way out of town, or face the hangman's noose at dawn.
Critique de Whispertone
In classic western style Cassidy Red is a compelling tale of retribution with a reimagined twist of a headstrong and shoot ‘em up female lead. Daughter of a prostitute and a retired gunslinger, Josephine Cassidy (Abby Eiland) seeks to kill the man that she believes to have murdered her lover. The narrative of the film is told in past tense by an aged piano player to a prostitute who works in the same pleasure parlor that Cassidy’s mother worked in some years prior. The piano player begins with how Cassidy and Jakob (Jason Grasl) met as young children when she first found him trespassing on land belonging to another boy, Tom Hayes (David Thomas Jenkins).
Cassidy’s kindness to the orphaned indian boy Jakob is charming and endearing as it is the catalyst for their friendship. As they grow up however the charm fades, the fire dies down, and Cassidy pursues the brighter prospect and opportunity that the wealth of being married to Tom Hayes may offer. Tom leaves town to collect his recently deceased father’s debts and deeds to help create a new beginning as well bury her past for his soon to be bride, Cassidy. When Tom leaves he asks Jakob to watch over her, and this is where that old flame is once again reignited.
Cassidy and Jakobs passion is fueled by their believability as star crossed kindred spirits. The chemistry between the two is a perfect mixture of playful banter and a nostalgic longing. This leads to the motive for Tom’s character who is completely devastated by Cassidy’s betrayal and justifiably so. Viewing the film from Tom’s perspective you can understand how him and Cassidy are both protagonist in their own right. After rewatching Cassidy Red you may empathize with Tom’s perspective and even sense small hints of his inner sadness throughout the film. David Thomas Jenkins portrayal of Tom Hayes hits the bullseye as he plays the villain against the red headed heroine. His unrequited love for Cassidy is tremendously sorrowful and definitely worth giving the extra attention to find his subtle mania due to a broken heart.
Though Cassidy (Abby Eiland) is steadfast and full of grit on her quest, it may seem to be one of reckless nature as she is unprepared. Her reasons for revenge are understandable since she believes Jakob to be dead and she knows it was done at the hands of Tom Hayes. But blinded by love, impulsive and rash Cassidy is not the most layered character of the film but her courageous attitude is recognizable and engaging.
Cassidy Red is truly the western for the reminiscing yet modern movie buff searching for a new take on the wild and the rough. Andrew Carroll has skillfully composed and orchestrated 70 minutes of original music for the film, and he did not miss a single note. Abby Eiland is mesmerizing as the deadly and beautiful hellfire heroine. Written and directed by Matt Knudsen the sharp hip fire dialogue is witty, intriguing, and cleverly placed between all the characters precisely at the most pivotal moments of exchange. Everything Knudsen has done is tailor fit for the time period from his wonderous cinematic directorial eye focused behind the camera lens to his pen steady on the pages.
Saw the June 2nd..
- Note de Whispertone: 4