"Strange Beasts, Even Stranger Characters"
What You Need To Know:
BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD is several characters in search of a plot. There’s not much redemptive about BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD. Instead of a plot, there’s a lot of fuzzy poetry and some dazzling images that go nowhere. Frankly, it all comes out feeling rather pretentious. BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD also contains foul language, a disturbing scene where Hushpuppy’s father hits her, drunkenness, and some environmentalist baloney about melting icecaps.
(RoRoRo, EE, PaPa, LL, V, S, N, AA, D, M) Very strong Romantic worldview with strong environmentalist content about global warming causing hurricanes like Katrina and strong pagan theology resembling pantheism as young heroine repeatedly says that if one piece of the universe gets “busted,” it all gets busted; 18 obscenities, four GDs, and one light profanity; father hits daughter in one scene, light violence includes giant prehistoric boars are seen stampeding through an abandoned town and little girl seems to have a power over them when they arrive at her home in the bayou, little girl accidentally sets fire to her shack, her father has a terminal sickness and evacuation hospital tries to restrain him from going home but he escapes, people dynamite levy; implied prostitution on ship turned into a nightclub or juke joint; upper male nudity and 6-year-old girl briefly has no top on; alcohol use and drunkenness; smoking; and, shots of writhing crawfish, father sometimes seems to treat his little daughter like a boy, mother has abandoned the story’s young heroine, government officials try to force people to evacuate.
BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD is a quirky, impressionistic movie set in the future about a weird little girl living in a weird, poverty stricken community in the bayou. Regrettably, it contains disturbing violence by the girl’s father, foul language, alcohol abuse, and some scenes set in a nightclub ship with prostitutes.
In the story, 6-year-old Hushpuppy lives with her tough-loving father, Wink, in “the Bathtub,” a flooded area on the Southern Delta. They each have their own little ramshackle house. And, Wink has his own little boat made out of half a truck.
Hushpuppy believes the universe is held in delicate balance, but the balance has been upset and the ice caps are melting. This in turn has released an army of aurochs, a bunch of giant prehistoric boars headed her way.
Hushpuppy’s father is both strict and tender. He also seems to be trying to turn her into some kind of tomboy, which was confusing.
When her father gets sick and the authorities take him away, Hushpuppy decides to look for her missing mother, who left the Bathtub. She seems to find her mother living as a prostitute on some kind of nightclub ship offshore, but nothing much intelligible happens after that.
BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD is a bunch of characters in search of a plot. The filmmakers try to make up for that by a bunch of lyrical shots and strange narration by Hushpuppy, who sees everything through the eyes of a child, but a very bizarre child. Frankly, it all comes out feeling rather pretentious. That may be because it’s based on a play that sounds like bad poetry from Maya Angelou or Ntozake Shange. It also contains foul language, a disturbing scene where Hushpuppy’s father hits her, and some environmentalist baloney about melting icecaps and giant creatures, who look like over-sized boars using trick photography. Also, Hushpuppy’s father and the community around them drink an awful lot of beer.
There’s not much redemptive about BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD. Instead of a plot, there’s a lot of fuzzy poetry and some dazzling images that go nowhere.