Let’s Talk Elements: The Harder They Fall

CATEGORY: Movie Review
Let's Talk Elements: The Harder They Fall

The movie is a black western film that tells a version of history, using liberty of style, artistic finesse, and cleverness. While some of the characters represented real-life personalities known as the black cowboys of the 19th century, the movie itself is nothing but fictional storytelling of history. 

Written and directed by Jeymes Samuel, the movie focused on being a cinematic smash hit with a blockbuster experience. Samuel’s brilliant selection of casts contributed to making a very memorable movie experience for viewers. Quite a lot of elements stood out to us, but here are a few to be discussed:

Plot and themes

Although the film is fictional, it has a good storyline that is easy to follow and understand, with some twists and strong themes. Revenge is the most prominent theme of the movie and the driving force behind the actions and inactions of the characters. As known with most western films, the theme of racism was no doubt in play; love, family and loyalty were also some of the themes explored in the movie. Worthy of mention is the theme of feminine independence, as women were not denigrated into simple submissive side roles but were given a voice and allowed to take the lead and make their own decisions.

In the end, the audience is left to think about how the concept of vengeance for vengeance will only lead to more destruction and loss of things and the people that matter. Choosing to do good and embracing a fresh start is always an option.

Casting and characterization

The movie features an all-star cast. The movie’s lead actors are legendary, and it is very pleasurable to watch them even when they are doing or saying nothing. With Idris Elba, Regina Kings, Jonathan Majors, Zazie Beetz, LaKeith Stanfield, Danielle Deadwyler and others playing leads, there was never a moment of inadequacy or an iota of artistic incompetence on the actors’ parts. 

Even actors who only had one line or no line at all did such a great job at being silent. Whether they were dancing, fighting, walking, sitting or just staring, each one embodied his role, making for a huge success in the overall composition.

Music & sound

Jeymes Samuel is a singer who brought a musical performer’s knowledge to the choice of background music used. Working alongside Shawn Carter (JAY Z), they composed most of the songs used in the movie, giving a rich, original and authentic vibe to the scenes and the big moments in the film. 

It is also of great delight to Nigerians to see some Nigerian influence in the choice of music as one of the composed songs was done in Nigerian pidgin. Another great use of Nigerian music was in the song “Let’s start” by Fela Anikulapo Kuti, the late legendary Afrobeat Nigerian singer, a choice born from the understanding of how art influences life and culture. 


The fluidity of each shot, the framing, picture composition and the ability to effectively tell the story of each scene using timely focus shifts, right angles and shots are a big plus to this movie. Every single picture gives the iconic western image that is perfect for framing. Alongside the outstanding set design, brilliant use of lighting, costume and other visual elements, the cinematography gave the audience a beautiful and colourful ambience that stood out in every scene, giving the audience a unique experience different from that of many western movies. The movie arrives at being a delightful spectacle, transforming light, colour, and movement into origins of pleasure.

We hope you take the time to see this interesting piece of art and relish the utter creativity of its producers. If you have, kindly tell us your perspective of the movie and your favourite thing about it. Till we catch up in the next review, remember that the fastest drawer of the gun may not always brag about it.