Independent films depend purely on the strength of their story, lacking access to flashy special effects and bloated budgets to hide imperfections. Instead, everything is stripped bare revealing the heart of the tale. Sure to be an Academy Award contender, Beasts of the Southern Wild is, at its core, an exemplary demonstration of the rawness that is the independent film.
In this semi-fantastical story, we follow six-year old Hushpuppy and her hot-headed father as they face the harsh realities of life in a bayou cut off from the rest of society.
It takes a while to really sink into this film. The characters are difficult to connect with and their thick Louisiana accents can be troublesome to comprehend at times. However, as the film progresses and you witness the predicaments of the people, you slowly begin to latch on to them – Especially little Hushpuppy, played beautifully by Quvenzhané Wallis.
Writers Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin, who also directed the film, deliver a psychological look into the daily life of the neglected and underprivileged people of the world.
For the DVD home release, the original film is given good video transfer, even if there is an excessive amount of film grain. The audio, however, is top notch. Subtle details are everywhere to be found and the use of bass at the appropriate moments really adds weight to certain scenes. The special features are solid and include an in-depth, 18 minute Behind the Scenes featurette, Deleted Scenes with director commentary, some of the audition footage for the father and daughter leads, and the short that led to this movie, Glory At Sea.
Movie Grade A-
Blu Ray Grade B+
Runtime: 93 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1