Stories about the Wild West fascinated the childhood of many of us. Interestingly, this almost exotic space for many passionate readers and cinephiles is still as attractive as it used to be, despite the classic patterns grounding these stories. From Karl May’s characters to cult films about fearless sheriffs, our imagination was fuelled by countless artistic attempts to recycle this more or less fictional geographic territory, even adopted by some of the most cosmopolitan directors of the moment, such as Quentin Tarantino. Without proposing a re-adaptation following the formula of The Hateful Eight creator, Adib Cherit is a young director who offers a dynamic and enjoyable animation that marks a reinvention of one of the most popular films of its kind. ‘The Good, the Bad and the Cactus‘ falls in the category of those playful experiments which, starting with their name, offer us an alternative to the famous cinematic production, opting for three fanciful characters that translate into a story destined to any age a few great universal themes: friendship, loyalty, or courage. Indeed, we cannot say that this experimental project meets the standards imposed by the dramatic and narrative magnitude of the well-known cinematic referent, but the short film of Adib Cherit manages to intrigue and fascinate any category of spectators by the simplicity of its epic nucleus, creating a strange and attractive universe that privileges the eternal struggle between good and evil.
Looking for precious diamonds, a man explores a mysterious mine that seems to be ruled by a demon. The risky escapade of the protagonist will be accompanied by a magical cactus that reacts violently to the malignant interventions of others. The confrontation of the two characters with the demonic master of this mine will make them to join forces to get away safe and sound.
Without claiming an ample epic thread with complex characters, this short film uses the principles of a sort of modern fairy tale that synthesizes a metaphor of the individuals’ struggle with the forces of good and those of evil that define their existence. Thus, Adib Cherit’s strategy of using the Wild West as a support is a kind of pretext demonstrating the universality of some essential aspects of how we relate to the world we live in. The linear but balanced chromaticity, the replacement of a conventional dialogue with specific sound effects, and the slightly naive physiognomy of the characters, contribute to creating a familiar, nostalgic atmosphere for mature audiences who somehow relive through the adventures of the protagonist many of the literary and cinematic experiences of the childhood. ‘The Good, the Bad and the Cactus’ is a pleasant and almost gentle animation designed for any age group, offering a brief and light experience in the fascinating universes of the Wild West recreated according to the principles of a child’s sensitivity.