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Blu-ray Review: Beast – “A dark, twisted modern-day Gothic romance during a sunny day”

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Like a dark, twisted modern day Gothic romance during a sunny day, Beast unfolds before you. The feature debut of British TV director Michael Pearce is a romance against the backdrop of a murder mystery.

It is a film best seen knowing as little as possible, so I will keep things spoiler free. We follow the amazing Jessie Buckley as Moll. A young woman trapped within a controlling family who is overshadowed by her siblings. While having one of the worst birthday parties ever, she ends up meeting the mysterious Pascal played by Johnny Flynn and a connection is made. Meanwhile, a number of young women have fallen victim to a serial killer. Could there be a connection?

What follows is a slowly unfolding mystery and romance that is full of tension and ambiguity. Long buried secrets surface and everyone seems to be untrustworthy.

Beast is a great indie film that I thoroughly enjoyed. While there were a few cliches that was not enough to derail the story for me. There were also a couple of moments were the tone seemed to change abruptly, but again nothing that pulled me out of the film. It is all beautifully shot with some great uses of natural light. There is an excellent feeling of space around all the characters even though they all feel trapped by their own decisions or the actions of others. A fantastic dichotomy that worked extremely well.

It reminded me of a couple of older films, but to say what they were could spoil this one for you.

The whole thing is kept together by the supreme excellence of Jessie Buckley. She gives a superb performance and can show so many emotions in such a short space of time. You feel for the character of Moll one moment and the next you feel slightly fearful of her. The same goes for Johnny Flynn who gives great depth to the character of Pascal. Together they have great chemistry and you could see how these two lost souls were destined to find each other.

The ending was a slight let down, purely because it seemed to go on after a natural endpoint had occurred. On the whole, Beast was a well-crafted twisted thriller that is well worth a watch.

You can also read Amanda’s review of the film.

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