Poetic beauty on a budget

Gareth Pang
Gareth Pang |
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For a creative director, a shoestring production budget is sometimes a blessing. Benh Zeitlin's Beasts of the Southern Wild is a prime example of how directorial vision can be saved from the constraints of mainstream Hollywood film.

Hushpuppy (Quvenzhane Wallis) is a young girl who lives with her father (Dwight Henry) in a swampy scrap of land aptly named the Bathtub. The desolate place is cut off from the world of industry and modern ugliness.

For a while, Bathtub seems like an idyllic wonderland. But everything comes crashing down when a Hurricane-Katrina-like storm hits Bathtub with floods and Hushpuppy's father falls ill. Hushpuppy must figure out how to survive on her own.

Featuring a phenomenal performance from the then six-year-old Quvenzhane, Beasts is pure movie magic. In Hushpuppy's wild imagination, prehistoric monsters are thawed and animals whisper to her ears - it all resembles a modern fable.

The handheld filming style creates a rustic, dreamlike quality and poetic imagery stirs deeply. Chances are this is the most original film you will see in 2013.

YP Rating: 4/5



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