Beast - This Movie Darkly Rocks
Dir: Michael Pearce
Starring Jessie Buckley, Johnny Flynn, Geraldine James, Charley Palmer Rothwell
Pearce’s debut boasts two fine lead performances in Buckley, as Moll the young girl who runs out on her birthday party to find herself meeting Flynn’s poacher, Pascal. Both have an uncertain past in which violence has played its part, and both are damaged in ways that the film is deliberately slow to reveal, which draws them to each other, and into a background in which a series of young girls have been murdered on the island of Jersey.
Beast is a slow burn, but one that manages to both impress and engross. Pearce maintains a constant level of ambiguity, as the young couple move towards each other, becoming embroiled in the islanders' suspicions and prejudices, as the murders in the background begin to take centre stage. Also taking centre stage are the landscapes of Jersey, brilliantly captured by Pearce and his DP Bejamin Kracun, building on what is already a strongly atmospheric and impressive debut.
Adding a beast of a whole other kind is Geraldine James, who is splendidly, politely unpleasant as Moll’s domineering mother.
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