After a disappointing 2020, this year has seen the movies truly triumph once again.
While the likes of Tenet were still released last year, many of the most anticipated movies were delayed. From A Quiet Place: Part II to Dune, audiences were invited to finally see some colossal blockbusters.
However, it’s important to note just how much of an important role Netflix has played this year. They have released such efforts as Tick Tick Boom, Army of the Dead, and of course, The Power of the Dog.
Jane Campion’s first film since 2009’s Bright Star is a magisterial and superbly sculpted western drama, but audiences have been left with some pressing questions in the wake of its ending.
Namely, who is BH in The Power of the Dog?
WARNING: SPOILERS FOR THE POWER OF THE DOG
Who is BH in The Power of the Dog?
BH was Phil Burbank’s (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) late mentor and the man’s influence on Phil is evident throughout the film.
His name was “Bronco” Henry and Phil reveals to Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee) just how much he taught him. However, it’s eventually suggested that their relationship was more than professional.
Late in the film, Phil and Peter have begun to develop quite a friendship and Phil essentially lets his guard down, sharing some information that threatens to expose Phil’s homosexuality more than ever before.
Phil recalls the time when he may have lost his life, stranded in the freezing cold weather. He was saved by the arrival of BH and he tells Peter that they actually had to combine their body heat to cling on to warmth.
When Peter asks if the pair were naked, Phil falls silent, leading both Peter and audiences to believe that they were. It’s implied that this may have been the start of both a sexual and romantic relationship that the two of them shared.
Earlier in the film, we witness Phil masturbating with a handkerchief that used to belong to Bronco, while Peter also finds a bunch of magazines with BH’s name on them; they depict nude men.
Was Bronco Henry a real person?
No, Bronco Henry was not a real person.
The Power of the Dog isn’t based on a true story. It’s an adaptation of Thomas Savage’s 1967 novel of the same name.
However, the novel was inspired by elements from Thomas’ life, including his alienation amongst Montana ranchers.
Director Jane Campion has addressed the similarities between his life and the fictional story.
“Thomas Savage moved to a ranch with his mother, which is the story which is really told in the film as well,” she explained.
“And the brother of the man that his mother married was talented — like, great chess player and, you know, went to Yale, et cetera — but also, like, a really hardened cowboy and terrible bully.”
“It’s got a very sort of sexual thing to it”
Sexuality is something that is communicated through Phil’s costuming and Benedict has weighed on this while in conversation with Digital Spy:
“It’s got a very sort of sexual thing to it, which Jane sort of leant into — as, from my point of view, the sort of sexualisation of these guys and the celebration of their bodies beneath, but also these furry chaps! Like human hair, or half-man, half-Satyr — so very animalistic.
He added: “That, as well as doing a lot of riding, really helped with the posture and the stance and the kind of inhabiting of him as a physical object.”
The Power of the Dog is now on Netflix.
In other news, Why did Harry Potter change directors throughout the series?