THE BEAST – “Boldly ambitious, occasionally frustrating, yet always mesmerising”

the-beast

RATING

DIRECTOR

Directed by: Bertrand Bonello

MAIN CAST

Léa Seydoux as Gabrielle
George MacKay as Louis
Guslagie Malanda as Poupée Kelly
Dasha Nekrasova as Dakota
Martin Scali as Georges

SYNOPSIS

In the near future where emotions have become a threat, Gabrielle finally decides to purify her DNA in a machine that will plunge her into her past lives and rid her of all strong feelings. She then meets Louis and feels a powerful connection, as if she had always known him. The story unfolds over three distinct periods: 1910, 2014 and 2044.

REVIEW SUMMARY

The Beast is boldly ambitious, occasionally frustrating, yet always mesmerising. It’s the type of film that begs for multiple viewings. And that’s not a bad thing, as it means there is a lot to dissect and take in. And at 2 and half hours, Bonello packs a lot into the proceedings – three distinct time periods to be exact. The storytelling is not linear though, and placing the puzzle pieces in your mind can be a bit vexing (to say the least). But, by the end, it’s an undeniably rich experience. There’s also some great craftsmanship at work here. You see, the movie goes from period drama to modern surrealism with impeccable detail. The engrossing mix of sci-fi and philosophical surrealism is reminiscent of David Lynch and David Cronenberg. It’s quite something. But, like those filmmakers’ works, this too won’t be for everyone. It’s overly confounding at times and a little too “artsy” for its own good. Luckily, our lead actress Lea Seydoux is a revelation in the role. There’s an understated passion at play, and Seydoux’s eyes tell the story every step of the way. So, while The Beast will no doubt divide audiences, it remains a challenge worth taking.

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