Movie Review: Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

Posted: August 24, 2013 in Drama

beast of the southern Wild

A father named Wink (Dwight Henry) tries to prepare his daughter, Hushpuppy (Quvenzhane Wallis) for a hard life on the Bayou, filled with rising floodwaters, displaced people, and prehistoric creatures named aurochs.

I do not know what to make of this movie.  It is terrible, that is for sure.  Let me tell you why I think so.  If it is trying to be a cautionary tale about climate change, it shouldn’t try so hard, entertainment and politics are like oil and water, the two don’t mix, and should always be kept separate.  If it is trying to breathe life into the worst ideas and conspiracy theories from Hurricane Katrina, it succeeds in doing that.  Don’t evacuate during a storm, somebody blew up the levies, don’t go to a government shelter, try to ride out the storm with your community.  These ideas should be buried along with this alleged script.

If this movie if trying to show the courage of a father trying to raise his daughter alone, it fails miserably.  The father is physically and emotionally abusive to his daughter and this abuse is disguised as preparation for a brutal world.  It’s an insult to single fathers and mothers everywhere who raise their children with love and respect.  This movie is like The Road meets Waterworld, if you like those movies, (And I didn’t) you will love this movie.

The so-called story meanders aimlessly, and has absolutely no structure, no dramatic arc, and the story seems to end whenever the writers run out of dumb ideas to peddle. And when all else fails, the writers pour on the sentimentality, there’s no sign that a movie is in trouble more than shameless tear-jerking. There didn’t seem to be a script at all, the actors seemed to be making it up as they went.  And oh yes, not to be left out, there are prostitutes to take care of the children.  Family values?  I hope not.

On the positive side, Ms. Wallis was cute, in typical Hollywood precocious kid fashion, but hardly deserving of an Oscar nomination. And I learned what aurochs are, hardly worth sitting through this listless film.

Beasts of the Southern Wild:  Incoherent ideas tame this beast.


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