West World, directed by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, is shot in a futuristic world, where humans have almost emerged successful in their greatest endeavour: recreating their kind. In a Western-themed amusement park, rich people get to interact with the hosts (the man-made men and women), without any consequences or judgment. Consequently, this world brings out basic human nature from its guests: lust and violence. Every host inside the simulation, follows a loop, and when they die, the loop is reset and they re-start. As the show proceeds, certain hosts begin to have an existential crisis by contemplating their very own existence. The plot elegantly unravels beginning at this point.
West World at times, can be frustrating to watch as the show adapts a complex non-linear screenplay, conflating several timelines and narratives in a single episode. And most of the time, the show concentrates on the bigger picture, therefore a single episode may not push us to the edge of our seats. Consequently, this might not be the right show for those who are accustomed to fast-paced shows. However, those who read novels will probably love the gradual unfolding of the plot. Throughout the season, the plot twists dawn on us in a very smooth manner, leaving us awestruck at the end, when we realize it. The structure of conflict between various characters is also incredible, opening up several possibilities to funnel in different characters and create thrilling encounters between them.
Almost every character we witness in the western world has an intense character arc. They're so strong, that we empathize with a character whom we despised at the beginning of the series. The show is not a cliché hero versus villain plot but contains a multitude of stories revolving around the very basic things that make us human. Concepts like freewill and questions like “What’s the purpose of our lives” are extensively discussed in the plot. There surely are certain scenes that push us into deep thoughts.
Ramin Djawadi's music direction was extraordinary. It takes us into the Westworld and has a unique way of narrating a scene. The cast has done a brilliant job, especially the ones who’ve hosted the film, as they had to show a great balance between their programmed actions and natural ones. Anthony Hopkins, who played the role of Robert Ford (the creator of Westworld) has done a remarkable job. By making very subtle expressions and tone changes, he did elevate the intensity of various scenes.
Two seasons are complete and season 3 begins airing on March 15, 2020. So, this is probably the right time to enter the Westworld and put on that cowboy hat by adding this to your must-watch list.