Movie Review #340: Beasts of the Southern Wild

Pursuit of happyness meets global warming

Sometimes not knowing the actors and their characters’ backgrounds has its advantages for a movie. As was the case for Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts, an imaginative and emotionally powerful tale of a young girl and her ailing, hot-tempered father set in a bayou community. Amidst the melting ice-caps that endanger their home, we see the interactions of Hushpuppy and her daddy Wink expressing a wide range of emotions. As the film goes on you see how tough, stubborn and wild the people from “the bathtub” are and the way that it’s shown it almost seems as if you’re watching a documentary. The cinematography was great and the two main actors (Oscar-nominated Quvenzhane Wallis and Dwight Henry) delivered good performances that somehow reminded me of the father-son chemistry of the Smiths in the Pursuit of Happyness, although not as excellent. Wallis’ narration was innocent and touching at the same time and her work here indeed showed me her prowess that led her to become one of the youngest Academy Award nominees in history. The movie’s final act might not be as powerful as it could’ve been, but the roar of the beasts was loud enough to make me shed a tear by the time it ended.

GRADE: B

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