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“The Harder They Fall”: Brotherhood Fails In The Face Of Revenge

“The Harder They Fall” co-produced by music mogul Jayz dropped on Netflix on 3rd November 2021.

The film follows an outlaw, who discovers his enemy is being released from prison and reunites his gang to seek revenge.

At the beginning of the film, viewers see outlaw Rufus Buck (Idris Elba) murder Nat Love’s (Jonathan Majors) mother and father right in front of him, provoking the cowboy to vengeance throughout the rest of the movie.

"The Harder They Fall": Brotherhood Fails In The Face Of Revenge
Nat Love (Samuel Jeymes) and Idris Elba (Rufus Buck) in the final scene of “The Harder They Fall”


"The Harder They Fall": Brotherhood Fails In The Face Of Revenge
The cast of “The Harder They Fall”

However, in a major twist, the outlaw turns the table on the protagonist, revealing that they share a father, and his death was the climax of Buck’s own mission to avenge his mother’s murder. Rufus Buck then challenges the film’s proposed hero Nat Love to now do what he could not and kill his own brother.

In a world where Afrobeats is taking over, “The Harder They Fall” blesses us with a song by legendary Nigerian afrobeat musician Fela Kuti.

His “Let’s Start” (featuring Ginger Baker) is one of the songs used in the hit movie. It was initially used in the trailer for the movie months earlier. The song, however, was not listed among the songs on the official soundtrack album for the film on Apple Music and Spotify.

That is most likely because all the songs listed on the album were originally recorded for the film.

One of the shortcomings I saw in this film was the characterisation and storyline. It’s worth noting that the characters in the film are based on real people.

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It feels like “The Harder They Fall” respected these people enough to include them in a story, but not enough to do feature their actual story and deeds.

For example, Stagecoach Mary (played by Zazie Beetz) was very much real and has her own fascinating story. Her life isn’t the tale that is depicted in “The Harder They Fall” and she wasn’t connected to Nat Love (played by Jonathan Majors), contrary to what the movie shows.

First, history books have no details of her love life. Her real name was Mary Fields and she was actually the very first black woman to work as a mail carrier for the United States Postal Service.

This film may have a sequel in view as Buck’s partner in crime Trudy Smith (Regina King) survived her final showdown with Stagecoach Mary. Who knows, Trudy is likely ready to start a new cycle of revenge against the Nat Love Gang.

“The Harder They Fall” is a good watch and on a scale of 1-10, I will rate it an 6. The film is still streaming on Netflix.


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