Debuts carry the fury and fantasy of one’s lifetime, and the Beast has a few of those, the director Michael Pearce, and the stars (crazy good JessieBuckley and Johnny Flynn) all now have a feature under their belt, a Colt 45 of a film, silver bullet of dark erotica, fertile pathology, a sunlit & soiled mystical union of shadows & light.
On the island of Jersey lives a young woman named Mol, wild at heart, tamed by shame, made to repent for a sin that maybe never was, her soul content spilling over the edges of a repressive family structure, that could almost be called matriarchal, if the mother was not really the father in drag – the father absent, lost in a disease of the memory. This is the rancid broth, served in a pot of fine china, in which Mol can never measure up to the low bar of mediocrity.
In comes a charming, filthy, sexy stranger in a truck, saves her from an unwanted advance, tells her he will fix her wound, and the Kundalini starts rising.
The two embark on both a joyous and chilling folie à deux, to the horror of her family, and the delight of both lovers, dancing breathlessly to the back beat of a crime spree on the island – a serial killer of young girls is again on the hunt.
Mol’s loyalty to her newfound love is now tested at every turn, as she glimpses a beastly nature under the shiny mane of her beloved, one that mirrors her own demons in ways she seems less and less able to grapple with. He is a suspect in the murders. And he has a nasty secret in his past.
The final twist is enigmatic and genius, an in-depth assessment of the twinship of love and trust, done in a flash – a potent understanding of the painful, intimate knowledge of the other, so much more complex than the sum of its emotional parts.
Beauty and beast in one.