Beast Blu-ray Review

The same kind of crazy.

That’s all anyone’s ever really looking for, someone who’s the same kind of crazy as them – so we don’t feel so alone.

So we feel like we belong.

Unfortunately for Moll, she’s a class 5 wibbley with a dark side – an even darker past – and an oppressive family who seem to take it in turns to suffocate her… metaphorically speaking, of course.

Could our anti-heroine ever find someone as fucked up as her to tame the Beast inside?

It’s Moll’s birthday and her overbearing mother has gone to great lengths to throw a party for her less favoured daughter.

Of course, said party’s not really for Moll – it’s merely keeping up appearances in the isolated and insular Jersey community Moll’s mother has chosen for her family.

Reluctantly, our birthday girl puts on a dress and a fake smile to match as she tries to make it through yet another dysfunctional family get-together.

Buy when her sister hijacks the party by announcing she’s expecting twins, that’s the final straw for Moll.

Heading out into the night in search of a little fun, Moll meets a nice local boy who’s after the same thing.

And he’s not the kind of guy who’ll take no for an answer.

So when Pascal – a rough around the edges loner with a gun – shows up to save Moll from a bit of a raping, her relief is palpable.

It doesn’t take long for Moll to recognise the kindred spirit who’s saved her either – hell, this James Dean wannabe anti-hero might even be able to save our girl from her own, insufferable family.

There’s just one problem – Pascal is almost certainly the same kind crazy as Moll.

Written and directed by Michael Pearce, Beast is a dark tale of the disconnectedness most of us experience at some point in our lives – and that almost euphoric feeling you get when you actually meet someone on the same twisted wavelength as you.

Jessie Buckley and Johnny Flynn play Moll and Pascal, and the energy between these two helps elevate a plot that starts to sag by the time the third act is ready to play out.

The isle of Jersey adds to the claustrophobic tension Pearce creates, and Buckley is great as Moll, but I felt a little underwhelmed by the messy climax that left more than a few questions unanswered in the rush to get to the end.

Beast is a taut and sharply observed slice of island life, and how small town life and people eat their own young just to keep themselves entertained.

As someone who made it out of an incestuous and inbred part of this country, I could relate all too easily with the leading lights on display.

Because the really mad thing is all those crazy people you know – or used to – they’re the only sane ones around.

Jonathan Campbell

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August 2018
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