The 10 best quotes from the movie

In The power of the dog, subtlety makes sense. The film, an adaptation of Thomas Savage’s book of the same name, centers on a gay cowboy, Phil Burbank, who is loved and feared by those around him. Filling the air with a dry Montana, the characters’ words are clues that lead the audience to the unexpected finale.

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Between Phil’s sarcastic remarks, George’s annoying comments, and Peter’s coy observations, the film makes the storytelling feel like rope. Each quote is a common thread that, when combined with the others, makes for a masterful job: either as deadly as Phil’s rawhide or as brilliant as Jane Campion’s handiwork.


Phil doesn’t wear gloves

“How come you weren’t wearing gloves?” »

Cumberbatch as Phil In the power of the dog

Early in the film, the audience learns that Phil doesn’t wear gloves. The quote might seem out of place, and delivered halfway through the film, it’s mixed in with other casual observations typically made on a ranch. However, there is nothing clear in this.

Since Phil knows his true self, a man in love with another man, would not be accepted in the male environment of 1920s Montana, the protagonist goes to extreme lengths to be seen as a macho type, not bathing not and not wearing protective gear. The quote is a gift to explain why he dies and reflects on the harrowing story. Tragically, Phil dies because of the need to achieve masculinity.

toxic masculinity

“God, I wonder, what little lady did that?”

The Power of the Dog Oscars 2022 Jane Campion

Benedict Cumberbatch delivers another of his splendid performances as the stiff but gentle Phil Burbank. Although the character hides the other side of his personality, he likes to display a macho posture towards the cowboys who work for him.

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While waiting to eat in the restaurant run by Rose Gordon and her shy son, Peter, Phil notices decorative paper flowers on the table, asking who made them. Peter politely replies that he made them, and Phil belittles the flowers, making the cowherds laugh. The purpose of the line is not only to establish a tense dynamic between the two characters, but also to glimpse the restlessness of Phil: in a toxic environment, he rejects all that is effeminate in an attempt to overcompensate for his homosexuality. .

Peter makes a promise

“Mother, you don’t have to do this. I’ll see that you don’t have to.”

Peter fixing something in The Power of the Dog

It’s no coincidence that Kodi Smit-McPhee made SAG’s list of Best Supporting Actor Nominees of 2022. His performance as the flamboyant and observant teenager Peter Gordon made the actor universally acclaimed, as does her co-star Benedict Cumberbatch. Although Peter is seemingly insecure, Smit-McPhee captures the resilient nature beneath the character’s shy facade.

Seeing his mother resort to alcohol because of Phil’s humiliation of her, Peter reassures Rose that he will make her problems go away. The line, while it may seem like a generic display of affection from a son to his mother, is actually the reasoning behind the story’s unexpected conclusion.

Hidden in plain sight

“A running dog.”

Phil and Peter looking at the mountain in TPOTD

Standing side by side in front of a stunning landscape, Phil asks Peter what the boy sees on a particular hill. When Peter replies that he sees the silhouette of a dog, Phil is shocked. “Well, Bronco Henry saw him first,” he replies defensively but remains surprised that Peter could spot him when he was used to everyone not seeing him.

Not only does the line prove that Peter shouldn’t be taken for granted, but it also has a deeper meaning. In a western where Phil’s sexuality is both the center and the hidden aspect of the narrative, seeing or not seeing the dog can be a metaphor for whether or not the character is gay. Peter’s seeing the hound ends up foreshadowing his later knowledge of Phil and Bronco Henry’s romantic relationship, and it’s a clue to his own homosexuality.

Make amends

“Peter, we kind of got off on the wrong foot.”

Phil and Peter on horseback in The Power of the Dog.

Phil and Peter are two of the best characters in The power of the dog, and they have a compelling dynamic throughout the film. While Phil humiliated Peter on several occasions, especially after his brother George married Rose, he takes a different approach halfway through the story. The protagonist asks Peter for another chance, stating that they should be friends.

Although the proposal is also a pernicious way to hurt Rose, the two characters have hit it off, and Phil develops genuine affection for Peter. Little did Phil know it, the line is the trigger for a chain of events that leads him to meet his destiny.

subtle gift

“Anthrax, so don’t touch.”

Benedict Cumberbatch The power of the livestock dog

The movie might have a shocking ending, but Campion dropped several clues throughout the movie for the audience to pick up on. When the cowherds find a dead calf near the Burbank ranch, Phil quickly warns them not to touch the anthrax-killed animal.

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The line is simple but has a dark meaning. Ironically, Phil warns others of the dangers of the disease, and by the end of the film, he is the one who suffers the consequences. The quote shows that the plot was unfolding in plain sight from the start, although the audience only saw it after its conclusion.

Bronco Henry

“This saddle belonged to Bronco Henry, the greatest rider I have ever known.”

Phil watches Peter get on the saddle in TPOTD

The power of the dog has already found its place on the list of westerns like Brokeback Mountain. As The Guardian pointed out, male bonding is a common trope of the American Western genre, and in Campion’s film, that perspective takes on new life through the love affair between Phil and Bronco Henry. The late cowboy is never seen, only mentioned, which makes Phil’s many references to him all the more significant.

The quote is a window into the character’s feelings for her former lover, as well as her appreciation for Henry’s saddle. While the nature of their relationship is unknown at this point in the film, this line makes it clear that Phil’s disparaging remarks are aimed at everyone but his former partner.

get out of each other

“You just have to know that one man’s feelings for another can run very deep. It happened with me and Bronco, it upset me, I can tell you that.”

The power of the dog Peter Phil

As Screen Rant Highlights, Campion’s western was the target of unjustified opposition to gay characters and the deconstruction of the toxic masculinity present in the film. However, The power of the dog remains highly acclaimed due to its honest portrayal of human nature.

In his most vulnerable scene in the film, Phil is open about his romantic relationship with Bronco Henry. The line’s delivery is as thrilling as it is delicate, giving audiences a chance to see the protagonist in a way they’ve never seen before. The quote is a heartfelt confession from one homosexual to another; it represents Phil’s relief at being able to voice his love for Bronco out loud, without needing to adopt a macho posture.

Death Rope

“But he never handled sick animals, he was particular about that!”

George looks worried in a tuxedo in The Power of the Dog

George may not be the smartest character in The power of the dog, but he got one thing right: Phil has never handled sick animals, which is why he’s intrigued by his brother’s death from anthrax. At this point in the film, the character is at a disadvantage to the audience – George has not seen Phil’s injured hand come in contact with the rawhide Peter gave him, nor seen Peter get the same rawhide from a sick calf .

However, it’s only when George voices the thought that the viewer puts two and two together, which makes this quote a fitting closing remark in the film’s ominous ending.

The power of subtlety

“Deliver my soul from the sword, my darling from the power of the dog”

Peter looks in the mirror in The Power of the Dog

At the end of the film, the audience sees Peter arranging his books, including an open-page medical book on animal diseases and a Bible.

The quote he mumbles to himself sums up the tale, and it has biblical meaning behind it, referring to the power bullies have over their victims. Peter’s line is the last thread to unravel, letting the audience see the whole picture as clearly as the figure of the dog on the hill.

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