Strange Way of Life DVD Review: A Strong, Romantic, Cowboy Drama

Writer-director Pedro Almodovar’s Strange Way of Life is a short (30 minutes) cowboy drama/romance starring Ethan Hawke as Sheriff Jake and Pedro Pascal as Silva, a ranch hand. The two men were lovers 25 years ago, but haven’t seen each other since. Today, Sheriff Jake’s sister-in-law has been murdered and the lone suspect is Joe (George Steane), Silva’s son. Silva rides into town supposedly to rekindle his relationship with Jake, but Jake believes Silva could only have one task on his mind, to help his son escape the noose.

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Silva is caught between his love for his son and his longing for Jake. Sheriff Jake is caught between his love for Silva and his duty as the local lawman. After one night together, Sheriff Jake must get on his way tracking down Joe. Silva says why bother? The two of us can finally go off together and get that ranch we used to talk about. Hawke is wonderful here as his conflicted nature is easy to see, at the same time as the understanding he will never put his duties as sheriff to the side.

Silva and Jake and Joe have their moment under the sun in the kicked up dust. There is a gunfight, and tough decisions are made. As the sun sets behind the horses in a corral, Jake asks Silva what two men could do alone on a ranch. Silva says, “They could take care of each other.”

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Greg Hammond

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