Beast – Idris Elba movie review by Efe Teksoy

A THRILLER AND SURVIVAL STRUGGLE “BEAST”

Cinema Writer/Film Critic Efe TEKSOY; wrote the adventure, thriller and drama film “BEAST” for America’s Los Angeles based Internet Newspaper @alaturkanews.

 

A DANGEROUS JOURNEY

Beast, produced by Universal Pictures and Will Packer Productions/RVK Studious, presents a thriller that will leave you breathless with the dangerous lions of South Africa. It bears the signature of Baltasar Kormákur, the successful director of Everest, 2 Guns, Contraband films. The film is directed by Oscar-winning French cinematographer Phillippe Roussselot, known for Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, Dangerous Liaisons and Big Fish. The film, which was shot entirely in South Africa, has never used a real lion in its shooting, thanks to cutting-edge visual effects that have never been used before. Film It is about a father’s struggle to survive, who goes on a trip with his two young daughters. The narratives in which man and beast meet and struggle are as old as the stories themselves. Famous novels such as Theseus and the MinotaurPerseus and Medusa from ancient Greek mythology, Moby Dick, which is among the most widely read classical works of world literature by the American writer Herman Melville, 20,000 Leagues under the Sea by Jules Verne, and of course Jaws, which has become a popular culture icon. We see that the struggle for survival is the basis of existence, as in the examples of King Kong, Anaconda and Jurassic Park and Stephen King‘s Cujo. British actor Idris Elba, who has been nominated for the BAFTA and Prime Time Emmy Awards, takes the lead role.

 

TOPIC OF THE FILM

Dr. Nate Daniels is returning to South Africa, taking his daughters with him. On a long-planned trip, they come with their daughter to a wildlife area run by Martin Battles, an old family friend and wildlife biologist. A fun journey, It turns into a struggle for survival because of a dangerous lion who now sees humans as enemies due to poachers.

Stars; Idris Elba, Sharlto Copley, Iyana Halley, Leah Sava Jeffries, Liyabuya Gongo, Martin Munro and Daniel Hadebe.

 

STORY AND PRODUCTION DESIGN

When executive producer Jaime Primak Sullivan called Will Packer, producer of blockbusters, with the idea to make a movie by replacing the terrifying rabid Saint Bernard in Stephen King‘s classic horror novel Cujo with the Lion, Packer immediately agreed. Packer and producer James Lopez turned to screenwriter Ryan Eagle, with whom they worked on the 2018 hit thriller Breaking In, after Primak Sullivan suggested the characters and story. After that, The Scenario turned into a big, action-packed thriller about a father’s struggle to protect his family. During the scenario development process, they discovered the life-and-death battles of lions with poachers and included it in the story. Packer and Lopez needed a director who could shoot the big action but also capture the deep emotional subtext of the story, and they offered it to the famous Icelandic director, Baltasar Kormákur. Kormákur was impressed by the film’s premise and promise. In fact, he thought this was the movie he wanted to make since he was a kid. “I am an animal lover. I roam the countryside with my horses. Even as a kid I used to cut out pictures of African lions. When I told my mom about The Beast, she pulled out an old notebook and said, ‘This might be why you made this movie.'”

 

DESIGN OF THE SCARY LION

The scary lion in the movie Beast was created using cutting-edge CGI, posing significant design and shooting challenges. During production, the cast and crew needed a physical representation of the lion for visual reference. Director Baltasar Kormákur says: “Most of the time we used a big stunt double in a gray t-shirt to give us the memory. He had a hat as big as our lion’s head. This gave us a reference on what the lion can and cannot do. Then we shot without it to be clean. It gets even weirder when you’re doing an entire scene. The lion is no more, but you are reacting to a lion.” Director Kormákur loved the experience. “He gave me another tool to put in my toolbox. I worked with Enrik Pavdeja (Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom). He is an awesome visual supervisor and animator team from Framestore. They worked both on the set and in the post-production of the movie for nearly a year.” Everyone in the production focused on the dynamics of how the lion would be, especially when attacked. Actor Idris Elba says: “Baltasar and I mentioned the nearly extinct giant Barbary lion for reference. You can feel the car moving when that thing hits the car. No ordinary lion. This lion is huge. Like one car crashing into another. We spent a lot of time making the audience feel the scale and power of the lion. It is also a highly intelligent and calculated predator.” Under the direction of Kerry Greg (Avengers: Age of Ultron), the stunt team worked closely with the creatures and the visual and sound effects departments to ensure that until the end of the fights, it was a realistic fight between a lion and a human. The final encounter between Nate Daniels and the lion was filmed in the Northern Cape region of South Africa. Construction was so far north that they were almost no longer in South Africa. Kormakur says: “It was on the border with Namibia. In some shots you see both South Africa and Nambia.”

 

SHOOTING LOCATIONS

It was shot in South Africa in the province of Limpopo, the Northern Cape and Cape Town. Producer James Lopez says: “We are proud to be able to bring a production of this scale to this region. We have seen firsthand the impact of such a production on the people of this region. The story takes place in a conservation area and we talked about different locations to shoot. South Africa was at the top of the list. The film industry in South Africa is strong. Once we touched the land here, explored the region and saw what South Africa’s film community had to offer, we knew we had made the right decision.” In addition, the producers wanted to preserve the natural environments in which they were filmed. For a scene where Idris Elba enters the water in the creek, the production team made a real brook so that they do not disturb the creek used by the animals. Production designer Jean-Vincent Puzos and his team brought the water and created an area with trees and rocks. This gave the water a mirror effect, like an extremely large lake with a flawless line. For director Baltasar Kormákur, it was important to showcase a realistic South Africa rather than a “Hollywood” version of South Africa. Nambian costume designer Moira Anne Meyer lives in South Africa and has brought rich, cultural references to the authentic wardrobes of villagers and poachers. Although the cast of Beast came from different countries, it was important for the producers that most of the supporting actors were from South Africa. Lopez says: “You will hear some Venda language in the movie. It is one of the local languages ​​spoken in the northeastern region of South Africa where the movie was shot. We also used real city and location names. We honored the cast, the dialect and the architecture of the village. All of this was done faithfully to the story.”

 

BEAST

Stating that no real lions were used in their shooting, the production team states that absolutely no animals were harmed in the making of the film. Adding that only real lion images are used for visual reference purposes, the producers say that the main lion and other lions are made with state-of-the-art, modern visual effects that have never been used in any movie before. The Beast, in the genre of thriller, adventure and drama, offers the audience a South Africa adventure full of fear and adrenaline.

EFE TEKSOY

 

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