Beasts of the Southern Wild
by julie swanson
I’m not sure what to say about this movie. The little girl who plays Hushpuppy was adorable and there was a lot of good food for thought, but it’s hard to figure out what I thought of the movie. My feelings on it were mixed. I can’t truly say I liked or enjoyed it, and yet I was very interested in it and wanted to watch it all despite my discomfort. It was unpredictable and original.
I felt like I was carsick for much of it, not sure if it was the filming–much like a home video the way the camera moved all over–or if it was just that some of it was hard to watch. I’m prone to motion sickness and often get a queasy stomach watching a film where the camera isn’t held steady. But there was also a lot of stuff in in that was just gross, or unappealing. The way the people ate, the squalor they lived in, the dead carcasses floating in the floodwaters, the sweat and grime and alcohol guzzling… And there are things scenes you just don’t want to watch–the little girl hiding in a box while her ‘house’ burns down around her, a little girl being neglected, hit, a little girl with almost zero emotional support…
But still, it was good. I’m glad I watched it. Makes you appreciate what you have, makes you think about the way some people have to live. It’s a movie, yes, but that kind of poverty exists, and it doesn’t get enough attention. And there was a lot of heart in the movie.
It was right up my alley in another way, too. Hushpuppy flexing her little guns, with her daddy who wouldn’t let her cry and who was trying to toughen her up for her own survival once he was gone–well, Hushpuppy definitely qualifies as a tomboy.