Review : Beasts of No Nation

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“A drama based on the experiences of Agu, a child soldier fighting in the civil war of an unnamed African country.”

Netflix comes out of the gates swinging, with it’s first feature film, in Beasts of No Nation. The film is helmed by Cary Fukunaga of True Detective fame, and he really brings a distinct look and feel this movie. He is a believer in very deliberate film making, and the use of long slow pans, tilts and zoom, that force you to stay longer on something that you maybe don’t want to have to. Idris Elba plays a charismatic and brutal leader, and he plays the role perfectly. It’s nice in this movie, that we really get a sense for how and why child soldiers can be created, and not simply have that reasoning swept under the carpet. To be honest this movie is very brutal. It is brutal in tone, language, violence, and a few other things, but i think to have shied away from it would have been a mistake. Fukunaga also adds a great deal to that brutality, with the beauty and elegance of his cinematography, creating almost a juxtaposition of ideals on screen. Special mention also has to be made of Abraham Attah, who plays the main character of Agu in the movie. He was simply stunning, and deserves all the nominations in the world for this performance. The movie does have it slower periods, where it can get a bit bogged down, but otherwise the pacing is slow but very deliberate. All in all, Beasts of No Nation is a great start for Netflix and a great movie overall. Careful consideration however should be made by those who can’t handle this kind of material.

Review Score : 9 out of 10

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