Thursday, August 9, 2012

Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012): A tale of 'Chicken Licken'

Beasts of the Southern Wild, is this year's film with a fanbase, last year's being The Tree of Life. Beasts of the Southern Wild is definitely inventive with its shoestring budget, but is it still a good film? Maybe.

Beasts is the film that has been getting the most 4 star ratings this year, beating the likes of Moonrise Kingdom. Expecting a masterpiece was me, and I was the one disappointed.

The film opens with energetic narration by Quvenzhané Wallis, the youngster that plays Hushpuppy. She talks about holidays in her hometown, the Bathtub. The narration and Wallis' performance for the first 5 minutes appalled me. I was uninterested in what she was saying or doing. The festivities did not engage me, but more so dull me.

The titles appear. That's when I think Wallis finds her footing in the role. She is more comfortable with playing a strong-willed 6 year old, and it's a reasonably realistic depiction. She is naive, and her father Wink is dying. She doesn't know it, as he almost beats her to a pulp in a few scenes.

The film, by many, has been described as a fairy tale. It's certainly idyllic, and the Bathtub has some magical feel to it. It's dirty, but it's the people in it that make it clean.

Toward the end of the film, the secluded village is discovered by the Coast Guard. It's like the sky falling in the tale of Chicken Licken.

Except that's not all. In the timeless tale of 'Chicken Licken', the sky never falls. In Beasts, the sky falls, in comparison. This is Benh Zeitlen's Chicken Licken tale, except it's changed. I don't know what to think about it.

With a twist to such a timeless tale, will the film be forgotten? I highly doubt it. Its innovative techniques and it's over-passionate love is too much for me, but then again, I bet some people have problems with the old tale of 'Chicken Licken'.

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