Walk. Ride. Rodeo. is a 2019 movie that was first presented on the Netflix platform. The film tells the story of Amberley Snyder, a young girl who has had a lifelong passion for horses and horse racing. She had a successful career and was a champion until she got into a car accident. This event completely changed her life, as Snyder was paralyzed from the waist down. The girl faced a long period of rehabilitation to return to everyday life. However, she also intended to return to horse racing, which is what the plot of the film is about. This story is extremely inspiring, although its adaptation has not gained wide popularity. This movie is valuable for viewers, as it accurately presents a real story, contributes to the local cinema industry, adequately illustrates the emotions of the characters, and also allows understanding of the development of the character.
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First Criterion: Adaptation Credibility
One of the criteria for the value of a film is that it is based on a true story and tells it accurately. Walk. Ride. Rodeo. conveys the events of Snyder’s life in sufficient detail and explains the essence of her unique situation. In particular, Snyder herself was involved in the writing and production of the film, which greatly enhances the credibility (Gomez para. 8). For example, in the movie, the heroine Snyder emphasizes that the rodeo “it’s not what I do, it’s who I am” (Walk. Ride. Rodeo. 52:10). And in her real-life interview, one can hear a similar phrase when she emphasizes that horse racing is part of her (“A Paralyzed Rider’s Mission” 1:00-1:05). Thus, the authors managed to convey the main essence of Snyder’s story and explain why her path deserves attention and adaptation.
Second Criterion: Collaboration with Local Filmmakers
Another important criterion for the value of this adaptation is that it involved primarily local actors and other professionals. Film Office Director Nick Maniatis notes that “New Mexico’s deep base of talent, infrastructure, and competitive incentives continue to help us attract independent films to New Mexico” (Gomez para. 4). Walk. Ride. Rodeo. captures the peculiarities of horse racing culture in the region, which can be seen through the depiction of the rancho and rodeo events in the film (Walk. Ride. Rodeo.). Thus, despite the serious production of Netflix, the industry must integrate local talent. This aspect is important not only for creating a true atmosphere in the movie but also for the development of independent studios and professionals. Thus, Walk. Ride. Rodeo. not only inspired by the story itself but also by the attention with which the producers approached the local community.
Third Criterion: Adequate Emotions Depiction
The next important criterion for the value of this movie would be the adequate depiction of the emotional aspects of the story by the actors and the script. For example, the most intense episode of Walk. Ride. Rodeo. is the moment when Snyder learns that she can no longer walk (Walk. Ride. Rodeo. 26:50). This episode conveys the entire culmination of the story, and for its real participants, “it was just too hard to live through that again” (Goforth para. 11). The emotional tension created in the film fully reflects the real events that were a tragedy for Snyder and her family. Only the integration of real participants in the story, the local community, and the skill of the scriptwriters allowed to create such touching scenes. These aspects allow the viewer to plunge into the events of the life of the main character and understand what she could have experienced in those minutes.
Fourth Criterion: Character Development Illustration
Finally, the last criterion that is important to discuss is the focus on character development through overcoming difficulties. The film does not portray Snyder as a perpetually happy girl who immediately came to terms with her situation. On the contrary, she is often ready to give up and does not know what to do at certain moments. For example, when she comes to the ranch after a long rehabilitation, she is not sure if she can ride again (Walk. Ride. Rodeo. 38:15). However, her mother convinces her to fight while also showing her support and concern. In this case, the movie, as in other episodes, shows that the character is multifaceted, emphasizing the interaction with loved ones and the inner struggle. This image allows the viewer to better understand not only the family relationships of the characters but also to trace the development of Snyder.
Walk. Ride. Rodeo. is an inspiring adaptation of the story of Amberley Snyder, which at the same time perfectly captures the essence of her life. First of all, the authors managed to accurately describe the main events and their chronology, involving participants in the work. Additionally, they have tried to contribute to local independent filmmaking by partnering with New Mexico professionals. It is also important that the writers and actors were able to adequately convey the emotional aspects of the story. Finally, the characters in the movie are not flat but multidimensional, as they have their development and overcome difficulties. Thus, this film is valuable for the audience, as it allows you to learn the story of Amberley Snyder in a fairly reliable interpretation.
“A Paralyzed Rider’s Mission to Become World Champion.” YouTube, uploaded by Great Big Story. 2017. Web.
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Goforth, Dan. “From Script to Netflix: Walk. Ride. Rodeo.” Script. 2019. Web.
Gomez, Adrian. “NM Ropes Netflix Drama Walk. Ride. Rodeo.” Albuquerque Journal. 2018. Web.
Walk. Ride. Rodeo. Directed by Conor Allyn, Netflix, 2019.