Dr. Nate Daniels is a father of two daughters and is recently widowed. The eldest daughter reasons him for her death as she developed cancer immediately after her parent’s separation.
In order to emotionally reconnect with his daughters, Dr. Nate Daniels takes them on vacation to Africa where their mother grew up. Their family friend and wildlife biologist, Martin Battles, assists them in this wildlife journey.
But one shocking day, an injured lion that survived being the victim of the poachers, attacks them and thus begins their attempt at survival of a lifetime.
For the audience who are interested in watching a film based on wildlife survival, fiction or non-fiction, they basically are cognizant of the expectations from the screenwriting. If any of us watch such a film where the main characters are stuck in a compromised situation, we know that they will survive and overcome the unthinkable.
So where does the film stands in captivating the interest of the audience? I will give my fair share of developing zeal to invest my 90 minutes in a film that had Idris Elba fighting a lion.
The writing of this film in the first half convincingly develops the plot. And when the horror lodges to their heavy shock, the writing becomes exuberant.
The audience will build adrenaline when the family starts believing that something is terribly wrong. The element of intensity in this film is outstanding.
A flash of technical brilliance is a must to give a thrill to the audience. Beast offers to its audience excellent sound, an impactful music score by Steven Price, and an incredible design of dead bodies and injuries, followed by superb physical and especially facial performances by all four main characters, particularly the daughters. All these pluses are blended in some fabulous one-shot scenes, a quality of presentation that I wasn’t really expecting.
I feel the whole aesthetics of Beast from such an astounding first half loses that brink of establishing an equally promising continuity.
The pace of the film drops, the screenwriting of survival yet again enters into that Jurassic Park territory, things become obvious, and no further surprises are left to endure.
And some portions of the writing raise question marks throughout the film. How come the lion does not attack Martin Battles before running toward the family? Where were the alligators at night when Dr. Nate Daniels walks in the pond? Seriously, that is the time when the gators are active or perhaps hyperactive. Dr. Nate Daniels catching a snake looked pretty off, and so was the lion surviving the car explosion.
Where the pluses level on minuses, here I am observing a bigger concern throughout the film – the case of an injured lion. The pride is obviously hurt but more than that, the lion escaped being hunted by the poachers.
From that arc, from that angle, the lion was actually trying to survive by killing not even humans but animals too. Because the lion lost faith in everything when it was attacked. The lion senses every single nature installed on earth as its enemy and the only way to survive is by killing the others so that the lion lives without any chance of threat.
It is a tragic case for an animal. Despite being the villain of the story, the lion wasn’t really a villain. The humans started this. Had the film not dramatized that opening sequence, the lion would have always been understood as evil.
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