Just Been Watching…(123)

Beast (2017)

This British psychological thriller was received to much critical acclaim three years ago. I got the DVD for Christmas, and just got around to watching it yesterday.

Starring the wonderful Jessie Buckley, one of the brightest new stars of acting talent in this country, it is set and filmed on location in Jersey, in the Channel Isalnds. Unlike many films set in touristic areas, it avoids the cliches, and looks at the real life and everyday existence of the people who live there.

Buckley plays Moll, a twenty-something living at home with well-off parents and a mother who treats her like a servant. She has to help look after her father, who has dementia, and also works part time as a tour guide on the coach trips around the island. Very soon, we discover she has issues, including something that happened while she was at school. Then at the celebration of her birthday, her special day is stolen away by her sister’s announcement that she is expecting twins. So Moll leaves her own party, and heads out to a nightclub to get drunk.

Meanwhile, the community is in shock, after a series of rapes and murders of young women. One of the detectives investigating the crimes is very fond of Moll, but she doesn’t return his feelings. She spends the night in the club with a young man she meets there, and when they stroll on the beach early next mornng, he tries to have sex with her. As she is struggling, she is rescued by a wild-looking stranger with a rifle, who takes her home to her family. He tells her his name is Pascal

She soon starts a relationship with Pascal, much to the annoyance of her family, who look down on the scruffy man who earns his living from odd jobs, and poaching. She is also warned off by the police detective, who confides in her that he is a suspect in the recent crimes. But Moll is madly in love with the unusual Pacal, and becomes obsessed with him, eventually moving into his house.

However, he doesn’t want the same things in life that she aspires to, and despite the mutual attraction, Moll is unsure what to do. As well as that, she is beginning to wonder whether or not he could have been involved in the crimes, and wants to know the truth. In the process, she reveals her own dark secret, and stops lying to protect Pascal’s alibi.

With Buckley on her best form, a convincing portrayal of Pascal from Johhny Flynn, and a solid turn from the reliable Geraldine James as Moll’s mother, this delivers all it promises, building to a satisfying climax on a deserted country road.

Here’s a trailer.

42 thoughts on “Just Been Watching…(123)

  1. Hmm…looks like I have to turn to you for great movies just like I turn to Kim for great books. I haven’t watched the beast but my mom has and she loved it. I will try this movie soon. ❤✌😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There wasn’t a gift shop in Jersey that didn’t have ‘The Jersey Beast’ for sale on a revolving book rack 🙂
    I will enjoy this, I already recognised a few spots just from the trailer and it will be interesting how close they stick to the true story of The Beast.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thaks, KF. This is a ‘small’ film, and all the better for that. It has an ‘intensity’ that I enjoyed. Jessie Buckley is outstanding in the lead; but I am biased, as I liked her already. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. She was in the BBC drama series, ‘Taboo’, starring alongside Tom Hardy. Another one you would surely enjoy! (She also had parts in the Downey Jnr version of ‘Dolittle’, and Zelwegger’s ‘Judy’.)
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Like

  3. Thanks for this, Pete: it seems to have passed me by; I don’t know what sort of release it had here. I don’t think it came to my local fleapit [but I wouldn’t lay money on that 😉 ]. I have a personal reason for watching it, because I lived on Jersey for 3 years, forty years ago [blimey!], so I will be interested to observe how accurate a presentation of ‘real’ life on the island is. Cheers, Jon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well Moll’s family is quite well off, and Pacal lives in a so-so house. They go to very ‘normal’ pubs, and don’t spend time walking around well-known sights. It avoids all the tourist stuff made popular by shows like ‘Bergerac’, and could almost be set anywhere in southern England.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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