BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD  movie review
December 22, 2012 · Print This Article
I heard one thing about BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD before seeing it that I unfortunately could not get out of my head the entire time watching the movie, that the 6-year old girl protagonist is doing a nearly constant voiceover during the movie and the thoughts she articulates no six year old possibly could or would. That she is just reading lines written for her, not ones her character would actually think. Regardless, BEASTS is a hard movie to review, since there really is no story or plot.
The movie is set in a place called locally as The Bathtub, which I thought was amusing. I wonder if any place that seemingly remote and off the grid can still exist in the U.S.? I cannot imagine anyone living there for example filling out a 1040 form to file taxes each and every year. It truly seems like its own autonomous world, just how the residents of it like it and revel in it.
The camera basically follows Hushpuppy around for 90 minutes. She is a young girl who listens to the heartbeats of animals living in a house across the way from her dad’s house, tethered by a rope that rings a bell for “feed up time.” She talks to her mother, who is not there, and it is never really revealed if she left or died.
Her father seems at once the most irresponsible parent possible, but also some kind of tough love guru unthinkably already preparing his six year old daughter to live on her own and survive in the harsh environment of the Bathtub. The movie references how animals live and act often, and it would seem Hushpuppy is being raised in the more survival way of most animals rather than the coddling humans do for decades to their kids.
A big storm is coming, and showing how off the grid the Bathtub, a kid with a bell rides a bike through the area like Paul Revere signaling the coming of said storm. Apparently no one has the Weather.com app on their phone get push messages of severe storms like I do. Many leave, some stay, some perish and some remain defiant, like Hushpuppy’s dad who in crisis seems extremely resourceful.
He is sick though and we see strange veins appear on his chest, but he tries to hide this, unsuccessfully as Hushpuppy is of course a very observant child.
She goes on often with metaphysical musings about the nature of the world and how everything has to fit or it all goes wrong and polar caps melt and prehistoric beasts are thawed to once again terrorize the lands. This makes BEASTS not really a definable movie, more a dream or thought stream just floating before the viewer’s eyes.