|Running time:||85 minutes|
|Release date:||00 0000|
"Beast beast, ready to act!"
So we had to wait almost ten years to discover writer-director Danny Madden's second film after Euphoria (2011). While some directors tend to line up film after film, this young director preferred to expand his skills not only in managing also in the position of cinematographer, screenwriter and as a sound supervisor on other films and shorts. By having a real hindsight on the possibilities offered to conceive a film, he was able to elaborate a second feature film aesthetically seductive but especially based on a classy photography and a solid interpretation. Far from being just another film about an American teenager who has lost his bearings, Beast Beast succeeds in capturing the injustices of our world, its superficiality and its constant search for attention, whether it be by becoming a skateboarding genius, a youtuber promoting the use of firearms, or a young teenager with a passion for theater who is searching for her way. By perfectly capturing the drifts of our current system, Beast Beast stands out as a perfectly mastered independent film that easily leads to reflection.
Beast Beast is not content to follow three young teenagers in an American city in the South and prefers to move away from these formatted films designed to shock no one and artificially please the greatest number. We feel behind each scene of the film a certain meticulousness to remain credible at all times and especially to describe this American youth fed on television whose parents seem also lost to inculcate for some real moral values.
By taking the bases of his own short film Krista and by finding in the main roles the excellent young actress Shirley Chen (Krista), Will Madden (Buckner), the director and screenwriter Danny Madden extends in a successful way his story. Krista is a young high school student with a passion for film and theater who is rehearsing a new show and creating videos of herself with her iphone in order to create audition videos to get attention around her. Her former friend and neighbor, Adam (Will Madden), who used to make videos with her, has moved away from her and has chosen to focus his videos on more attention-grabbing and manly firearms demonstrations. Finally, Nito (Jose Angeles) is an accomplished sportsman and a gifted skateboarder who films his prowess and follows with interest the audience he generates. The meeting of these three young enthusiasts fed on social networks will prove to be the main element of the film and a damning charge against social networks and their use leading to tragic situations.
The great strength of Beast Beast is to testify of an obvious care taken as much to its writing, as to its direction of young actors but also to take care particularly of the image of this film. We can also appreciate the quality of the dialogues and the fact that the film's cutting does not foreshadow the last act of the film, which goes from a dramatic comedy to a suffocating drama that shows once again the ravages of firearms in the United States. By giving a real psychological thickness to his characters, the director Danny Madden makes Beast Beast a burning plea against the free circulation of firearms and the fact that Youtube lacks a real control and should at times censor certain videos. After the recent and repeated shootings in the United States, Beast Beast stands out as a film to be discovered urgently marked by the solid performance of an excellent young actress Shirley Chen whose presence alone deserves to see this independent film and testifying to the thoughtful and successful direction of a promising young director.
Written and directed by Danny Madden
Produced by Matt Miller, Jim Cummings, Tara Ansley, Benjamin Wiessner
Starring Shirley Chen, Will Madden, Jose Angeles
Cinematography : Kristian Zuniga
Edited by David Brundige, Pete Ohs, Mari Walker
Production companies : Vanishing Angle, Arsonist's Films, Persona Entertainment
Release date : January 25, 2020 (Sundance), April 16, 2021 (USA)
Running time : 85 minutes
Seen on April 08, 2021 (press screener)