Review: Beasts of No Nation
Child. Solider. Killer.
In an unnamed country in Africa, Agu (Abraham Attah) is just a regular boy, trying to think of interesting ways to make money for his family. He has a loving home life, even though his country is on a brink of a civil war.Until the fighting ends up in his town. His family is separated, then murdered right in front of him. He runs, but is stopped by the rebels, lead by Commandant (Idris Elba) who force him to become a soldier.
A film like this is brutal, and watching Agu go from such a carefree child into a murderer is heartbreaking. We're treated to voice overs every now and then, with Agu praying to God, at first helplessly, then almost as if he's trying to convince himself that this is the whole way. Attah gives one of the best performances of any child actor I've ever seen. Beasts is going to have a rough way to the Oscars as it is, but they should focus on him, because he truly deserves it. He over shadows everyone else, including Elba, who unfortunately is very miscast here. It was painfully obvious that he was the only one using a fake accent, and his true one kept trying to creep forward. Luckily it's Attah that is tasked with carrying the film.
It's nice to see Cary Joji Fukanaga back in action. After he expertly shot the first season of True Detective, he's back again as not only the director but the cinematographer as well. The film does suffer from pacing problems, especially towards the end. It starts to feel repetitive and and almost a little aimless. However it still deserves to be seen for Fukanaga, and Attah alone.
Memorable Quote: "It's an imagination TV." - Agu (Abraham Attah)