LFF 2017: It’s Not Just A Happily Every After For Moll In Beast

Credit: BFI

What could be a sweet love story of a girl, who finally breaks free from her family to be with the guy she falls in love with is not a sweet story at all. Instead, it is packed with dark secrets and a few surprises. This is Beast, which tells the story of Moll, a young woman with a dark past.

At her 27th birthday party, she leaves her family and friends behind to go dancing. After the party, she meets Pascal, a local poacher and a suspect in the serial murder investigation of the local town. Nevertheless, Moll falls in love with him. Even though her family and friends are against him, she moves in with Pascal after a dispute with her family. But will their love last while the investigations throw a dark shadow over the young love?

Beast is not a fast-paced thriller or even love story. Instead, it is a movie that slowly builds up to its peak and then comes with lots of surprises and plot twists. Especially the plotline of the serial killer investigation spices up the movie quite a bit. While you watch it, you start to suspect quite a few characters.

No movie, though, is solemnly good just because of its storyline. You also need a brilliant cast and Beast has both.

Jessie Buckley (War and Peace) plays Moll and couldn’t have done a better job. You suffered with her. You were angry at her family when they oppressed the young woman and made her believe she has done something wrong when she just tried to live her life like every 27-year-old would do. Her dreams in the movie are so vivid that for a moment you think it’s actually happening. Though, you wouldn’t know they aren’t really if it wasn’t for the short shock moment and twist of the dream that reveals that it was, in fact, just a dream. Jessie Buckley is basically the movie and she doesn’t let anyone steal her thunder, unlike Moll.

Johnny Flynn (Genius) is Pascal, the man who Moll falls for and who also falls for her. From his first appearance on, you know there’s something dark about him but you can’t really put your finger on it. Moll and Pascal are similar characters. Flynn and Buckley play off each other nicely. Flynn also manages to show a much nicer side of his character. Then he snaps at her again and is back to being an impulsive man, we got to know in the beginning.

Another big part in the movie plays Geraldine James (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), who is portraying Moll’s mother Hilary. You just cannot help to hate her character for the way she treats her daughter, so perfect is James’ portrayal of the character. I would have loved, however, to see more of James and her character, especially the relationship between Moll and Hilary.

Beast is definitely worth a watch. You can catch it at the London Film Festival on October 7th to October 9th. For more information, visit the official BFI website.

Anna Hattingen