The Power of the Dog – Relevancy to the Book

The Power of the Dog – Relevancy to the Book

The Power of the Dog is a movie nothing short of extraordinarily intense. The Netflix Original stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, and Kodi Smit-McPhee. Based on the 1967 novel by Thomas Savage, viewers traverse 1900s America through the lives of Phil Burbank. The man struggles with coming to terms with his sexuality. The film plays on homophobia, grief, toxic masculinity, and generational trauma.

The Power of the Dog, 1967

Thomas Savage was an American writer known for his works on the wild west. Despite favorable reviews by critics of his works, the sales remained mostly modest. The novelist, born in 1915 and passed away in 2003, had seen quite the change in America. The country made space for people of all races and sexual identities and The Power of the Dog captures that essence perfectly.

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The story revolves around two brothers, George, a plain yet honest man, and Phil, spiteful and homophobic. Phil tries to ruin his brother and sister-in-law by provoking them into suicide and drinking. Peter, his nephew, plans vengeance but eventually comes to an uneasy agreement. The book was regarded as Savage’s finest by critics.

Does the movie live up to the caliber of the book?

Most cinematic adaptations out there fail to capture the essence of the book they’re based on. But, oftentimes the movies do ensure they do justice to the books, and sometimes, they’re even better than the title that inspired their creation.

The Power of the Dog was undeniably Savage’s best work. The New York Times even compared it to a “Greek tragedy”. And this 2021 feature, directed by Jane Campion has certainly lived up to the name of the book.

With a total of 26 awards and a hundred nominations throughout his career, Benedict Cumberbatch is certainly no newbie in the industry. With works as great as Frankenstein, it shouldn’t be taken lightly when critics called The Power of the Dog “a career-best from Benedict Cumberbatch“. For his performance in the movie, he has been nominated for the Oscar award in the category of Best Actor.

As amazing as he is, Cumberbatch isn’t the only good thing about The Power of the Dog. Filmmaker Jane Campion has received quite the critical acclaim since the movie’s premiere on November 1, 2021. In fact, she bagged a nomination at the Academy Awards for the movie. This feature becomes infinitely more impressive as

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How excited are you for the release of The Power of the Dog on Netflix?

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