Film – Beast

Film – Beast

So who is the Beast? It could be one of several people as every character is unhinged in this film. With a backdrop of beautiful coastal Jersey, this thriller follows what happens to Moll (Jessie Buckley) after a girl goes missing. With a killer on the loose, who is this stranger called Pascal that we first meet as he felt the need to rescue Moll from the unwanted advances of another guy?

Set seemingly in present times but with no mobile phones and in the sort of season that doesn’t actually exist in the UK where everyone wears summer clothes daily, this is no ordinary love story. Tour guide Moll may seem vulnerable but there is something behind those eyes. Why is she having dreams of hooded people breaking into her home and why did this seemingly gentle woman attack a pupil while at school that was forced to then expel her?

Clearly Pascal (Johnny Flynn) is without a family and even though he has some bad habits, carrying a rifle and shooting rabbits among them, he is more appealing to Moll than her mum’s country club’s dress code or being treated like a servant to care for her father through his dementia.

When Pascal is arrested as a suspected killer, Moll has just left her suffocating home life and moved in with him. We realise there is more to Moll’s history than just having a tyrant (beast) of a mum (Geraldine James). This is no typical story of a girl defending her beloved when all the clues point to him being the murderer.

The classic tension is there from the start, but on a serious note, I couldn’t help but think this is what happens when illness isn’t recognised as these characters all needed help. Despite her flaws, it is good to see a seriously strong female character with none of the stereotypical traits.

In every scene, something bad could have happened. It’s a thriller with a hint of horror. In fact it is directed like a horror in that we only see one side and our imagination suspects the worst is happening every time. We almost stop caring who the killer is, because there is just so much else going on.

7½/10 (because despite its brilliance as a film, I want to forget I’ve ever seen this 107 minutes of tension)

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