Movie Review: Beasts of the Southern Wild
In a very rural area south of Louisiana there’s a place call the Bathtub. The residents are proud, and this is where 6 year old Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis) lives with her father Wink. Wink (Dwight Henry) has a temper and lives in a makeshift house. Across the way . Her dad takes care of her basic needs but Hushpuppy lives in a trailer and her dad lives in a different house on the same land. Hushpuppy does quite a few things for herself. Beasts of the Southern Wild sets the tone for how the people live. They aren’t wealthy, most of them wear what looks like hand-me-downs that somehow landed in their town but everyone knows everybody else and they look out for one another. A massive storm comes and the few residents who survive go about looking after each other, taking care of the children found and even fighting with FEMA when they try to get people to leave. In the background we get these gigantic beasts who are floating from the melting polar ice caps. To weave them into the story the school teacher tells the children how they will need to figure out how to take care of themselves if this natural disaster were to happen.
Beasts isn’t hard to follow but you aren’t always sure where its supposed to take you. When Wink and Hushpuppy are out after the storm in a makeshift boat made with barrels and the back trailer of a truck you know its because the residents of the bathtub are tight-knit. Hushpuppy talks about her mother often. We don’t know exactly why she’s gone, (its implied she swam away when Hushpuppy was a baby but she could have easily drowned). The people who stayed after the flooding gather around and have a massive meal showing their togetherness in spit of the obstacles facing them. When they are forced to leave and end up in shelters and hospitals, they band together to escape.
I watched Beasts of the Southern Wild with the girl and we were both pretty fascinated by it. I couldn’t quite put my finger on why I was so drawn into this movie until I got to the end. Its still a great film and definitely worth renting. Beasts has 4 Oscar nominations this year. While it probably won’t win Best Picture its in good company with the other nominees.
Director: Benh Zeitlin
Studio: Fox Searchlight
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Availible to rent/stream: Yes