Friday, September 30, 2022

Movie Review: Idris Elba’s ‘Beast’

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On one side of an African reserve is a psychotic lion gone berserk over the death of his family, on the other, a human father is struggling to unite his. Things take a dramatic twist when these two sides unintentionally collide and that’s the Idris Elba movie ‘Beast’ for you.

Somewhere in South Africa there was a pride of lions who once lived peacefully until one day they were shot down by poachers. The alpha male lion escapes and goes rogue. He develops a serial killer behavior and starts to hunt down humans.

 

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But the movie ‘Beast’ isn’t essentially about this unusual lion. It is about Dr. Nate Samuel (Idris Elba) and his two young daughters Nora (Leah Jefferies) and Meredith (Iyana Halley).
The family of three are in the African lands as Samuel wants her daughters to explore the culture their mother hailed from. She is no longer alive in the film but her character holds a prominent position in the narrative.

‘Beast’ is another one of those movies revolving around rampaging animals and would give vibes very familiar to the Jaws, Lake Placid and the Anaconda series – not to mention The Meg and the Deep Blue Sea. It has been directed by Baltasar Kormákur and written by Ryan Engle and Jaimie Primak Sullivan.

The film gives a chilling experience as viewers get to encounter a lion like never before. The cinematics are simply flawless and at times would make us dive into fast pacing action scenes into the wild.

The narrative is carried with the intention of enjoying a safari adventure. Although the idea is not a new one, it does strike a chord with its viewers given the background and the story- and with the lion- not the human family. Which comes to a major thing I disliked about this film: Its script.

 

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The storyline is majorly flawed and gives a counter reaction where one is likely to develop empathy with the antagonist despite the fact that the whole movie was centered at the other protagonist.

Lions are expected to protect their pride and if one’s get shot down mercilessly by a bunch of illegal poachers, it is normal to become abnormal.

What lion does is natural but what the family of Dr. Samuel does is stupid.
The storyline should have focused a bit more on the lion and should focus on sympathizing with it rather than target it as something who needs to be eliminated for a happy ending.
Despite Samuel being a medical professional and one of his daughters having plans for higher education, the moves they pull off just to survive are absurd.

They offer the impression that the script has been forced upon the film to make the event happen.

Martin Battles (Sharlto Copley) is a family friend and responsible for the animal husbandry within the reserve. He also is an anti-poacher, the ones who kill poachers aka human beings and this seriously mars his image as the fun-loving uncle Samuel daughters look up to.

It Is also Martin who first notes the strange animosity prevailing within this lion against humans after finding an entire village being killed off. He says that lions usually don’t harm humans and is disturbed by the fact that there is something strange going on.

Nearly all the human characters in the movie lack common sense and aren’t aware of the basic safety measures. Nora and Meredith are stubborn and disobedient at times which results in them facing consequences.

The fall is certainly not on the actors but on the writers and the ones who approved it without giving thoughts. Because of this, some scenes become irritating and vexes to the cores such as why would you want to leave one window open in the car when there’s a lion roaming around or when once Samuel asks Martin on the walkie talkie about what he should look for identifying a lion.

 

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The movie is filled with elements of a horror project, ranging from suspense to sudden encounters with the character who this time is a lion instead of a ghost of a demon.
Despite stunning cinematics and action scenes and bringing animals to life through delicate VFX, Beast still struggles to make itself a worthy film.

The film depicts a very predictable conclusion except for the scene in which Idris Elba goes head-to-head with the that lion only to become nearly devoured. It’s all a cookie –cutter ending of a film.

What makes this film worth watching?

High animation and the action scenes are the star points of this film. Not to mention, it’s a treat for the admirers of Idris Elba who gets to be a loving father and someone who after fighting cow boys, gangsters and Kaijus (Pacific Rim) duels with an African lion.

To conclude, Beast is overall a potential entertainer for the fans of Idris Elba and probably those who admire movies where animals go insane.

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