Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Review of Beasts of the Southern Wild

There is a scene in 'Beasts of the SouthernWild' in which six-year-old  Hush Puppy says ‘When you’re small, you gotta fix what you can.' and that pretty much summarizes what this movie is about.'Interesting' is the adjective you would use to describe the adventures of six-year-old Hush Puppy who lives in 'The Bathtub' along with her father. You would also wonder if Hush Puppy is the modern day Scout  and her father Atticus? Pretty soon you realize that they are not. 
 Hush Puppy, along with her father, belongs to a small community who refuse to embrace civilization even if it means that diseases are left untreated and their land disappears under water.  Their dilapidated house has filthy livestock but Hush Puppy revels in it. She bonds with them by listening to the heartbeat of animals and fish and believes that they speak to her. Her father Wink, is suffering from a deadly disease but teaches Hush Puppy to be self-sufficient both physically and emotionally. Crying is frowned upon and fearlessness is encouraged. She is also taught how to fend for herself in case the world ends. 

There are parts of this collage which do not make sense ; the huge boar-like creatures could have been allegorical but they actually come charging towards the six year old and she stops them with her courage. But you can forgive these misgivings looking at the various layers it presents. On one level this appears to be the story of a little kid who is missing her mother and tries to be strong and does not want her father to die. Another layer is the stubbornness of social groups who are resistant to change. But ultimately it is a joy to see the six year old's smile in the poor, dirty, deteriorated land. 

The kid who plays Hush Puppy has a wonderful knack for expressing through her eyes.Her magical view of everyday things and her struggle to be brave in the face of adversity are definitely Oscar-worthy.But you must remember that this is definitely an unusual and exotic fare in the midst of typical American films like ‘The Dark Knight Rises’.