The English (2022) review: Cast sparkles in gritty, emotional western

The English is a historical western drama about a woman who travels across America with revenge on her mind. Along the way she meets a Native American who helps her get to her destination. The series is now streaming on Prime Video.


Eli Whipp is a Native American from the Pawnee Nation who serves as a Scout for the United States Army. He ends his service and is headed home to claim some land for himself and live a peaceful life.

He crosses paths with Cornelia, an Englishwoman who is looking for the man responsible for the death of her son. She plans on taking revenge and asks for Eli’s help getting there.

Eli teaches her a thing or two about surviving in this infant nation and they form a bond, eventually falling deeply in love with each other. They both also have secrets that they’re keeping from one another.

They fulfil their destinies and then part ways after a long and emotional journey where they made memories that will last a lifetime.


Emily Blunt shines bright at the head of this series. She’s the spunky Englishwoman who finds herself in a strange land but adapts quite quickly. Blunt’s performance is extremely poignant and powerful.

Chaske Spencer holds his own opposite Blunt. He plays the no-nonsense Native American whose gradually warming up to his companion. Spencer is firm and commanding with his performance and it is truly inspiring.

Rafe Spall plays David Melmont, the villain of the series. Even though he only appears in episode 4 and a little bit of the final episode, he is truly vicious and sensational. This performance is brilliant and certainly makes his character memorable.

Everyone plays their part in the “Wild West” of this newly formed America. The variety of characters that littered the time period is all encapsulated perfectly by the cast.


The cinematography is mesmerising. The way the series captures the vast expanses and open plans of the country is magnificent and they have also made great use of perspectives and framing to provide a beautiful experience.

The cast has a fantastic script to work with and delivers it wonderfully. The dialogues are sophisticated and engaging while maintaining the colloquial style of the era.

The costumes, the make-up and the sets and locations of this period piece do not disappoint as the characters are decked out in a multitude of old western attires and weapons against some interesting backdrops of new towns and bootleg compounds.

Cornelia’s journey is brilliantly told as in the beginning, she almost wretches when witnessing a death but by the end, she’s become a capable killer herself. Despite the strides she made, she wasn’t able to kill Melmont because of her overwhelming emotions which was a great narrative touch.


With most westerns, there is an issue of pacing and this one is no different. The series moves along quite slowly and the narrative feels disconnected on many occasions until things are eventually laid out for the audience to understand.


The English is an amazing series that does require a certain level of commitment to sit through. However, anyone that does take the opportunity shall not be disappointed as a stellar cast and stunning cinematography contribute to an enthralling western experience.

The English
The English (2022) review: Cast sparkles in gritty, emotional western 1

Director: Hugo Blick

Date Created: 2022-11-11 12:30

Editor's Rating:

Also Read: The English (2022) ending explained: Does Cornelia get her revenge?

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