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'Beast' (2017) – Michael Pearce.

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  • 'Beast' (2017) – Michael Pearce.

    Part fable, part febrile fever dream, Michael Pearce's unbridled 'Beast' cryptically plays out like a feature-length, Bergman-infused episode of Bergerac, refracted darkly through the unfiltered lens of fearless Austrian agent provocateur Ulrich Seidel! With strong Scandi-Noir tones throughout, engagingly feral performances, and an intriguingly ambivalent text, this ferociously downbeat thriller is certainly no boorish beast of burden! In this morally murky melodrama, everyone appears to have a twisted agenda, the protagonists motivations are quite often obscure, good certainly doesn't triumph over evil, and the tantalizingly oblique climax pointedly poses more questions than it answers! An inventive, audaciously skewed, suitably untamed psychodrama, at its very best, 'Beast' spontaneously erupts with all the volatile, unpredictable quality of a trapped, distempered animal, a starkly compelling mystery, while sometimes jarring, this emotionally complex psychodrama is rarely less than inspired, and intelligently delivers plentiful scenes of flavoursome mental grist to contemplatively masticate upon afterwards. And no mention of Michael Pearce's exemplary thriller is complete without loud-hailing Jessie Buckley's pyrotechnic performance as the mercurial, love-struck Moll, which proved to be one of the more beguilingly quixotic, fiendishly erotic, fabulously nuanced heroines in recent memory!

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