The Beast

2023 [FRENCH]

Drama / Romance / Sci-Fi / Thriller

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 86% · 124 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 67% · 50 ratings
IMDb Rating 6.7/10 10 2918 2.9K

Top cast

Léa Seydoux as Gabrielle Monnier
George MacKay as Louis Lewanski
Bertrand Bonello as Réalisateur fond vert
Xavier Dolan as Système intelligence artificielle
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.31 GB
French 2.0
24 fps
2 hr 25 min
Seeds 100+
2.69 GB
French 5.1
24 fps
2 hr 25 min
Seeds 100+

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Xstal 8 / 10

Machine Yearning...

Let's be clear, for this, you can't be faint hearted - you will need a strong constitution, when this gets started, interpretation is the key, as without, you may just flee, missing out on what the maker wants imparted (although absorbing to the end there's a good chance you won't make head nor tail of what's going on). In a future where the world's run by machines, with intelligence they interact like fiends, Gabrielle gives them an ear, bathing in liquid not clear (tarlike in fact), she is taken to a world that's made of dreams. There she interacts with someone that she loves, the scenarios are there to give a shove, to remove adoring bond, of the one that she is fond, and extract her hand from fitting, in the glove.

Both Léa Seydoux and George MacKay are quite spectacular, and so are you if you can connect all the dots.

Reviewed by barnabaponchielli 6 / 10

A strange filmic object, for many but not for everyone.

This "La bête" is a strange filmic object, a science fiction melodrama between Lynch, Cronemberg and the minimalism of certain French experimental cinematography a la Godard, also touching on liminal oriental aesthetics, between the kitsch of a Sion Siono and the intellectualism of a Tsukamoto or a Park Chan-wook. The result is an exhausting aesthetic requiem, which romantically travels through time to forget it and make it forget (purify it in its DNA), a bit like the Gondry of "Eternal Sunshine..." and "La Science des rêves", but always cold and inexpressive, almost, in the extreme (in)expressive nuances of Léa Seydoux's face and in the icy looks of the substitute George MacKay (the film was written for the late Gaspard Ulliel). Freely inspired by Henry James's 1903 story "The Beast in the Jungle", Bonello's film talks about love and fear as engines of revolutions and annihilation, necessary but mysterious upheavals. Bonello's first attempt at sci-fi themes claims the right to transmute cinematographic language in an attempt to give a new original form to the unspeakable: the operation is halfway successful, in my opinion, because it fascinates aesthetically but is a bit exhausting on a narrative level and form. One remains dumbfounded and tired after the two-hour-plus duration, visual snippets remain in memory a la Oneohtrix Point Never, one would almost think, crazy sensorial splinters from other eras that resonate inexplicably, perhaps evoking the most famous motto of Hildegard of Bingen "Composing unknown characters and making an unknown language resonate." A mysterious and fascinating cinematographic object, undoubtedly, but not of immediate enjoyment or assimilation, but capable of arousing reflections and reasoning after the fact: a film to be investigated, to dig into for satisfaction. For many but not for everyone.

Reviewed by chong_an 8 / 10

Evergreen Love, or a coincidental triptych?

In 2044, AI is running the world, most humans are redundant, and strong emotions are suspect. Hoping to land a meaningful job, Gabrielle is encouraged by her friend Louis to undergo DNA repair therapy, which involves reliving past lives to remove hidden traumas. It seems that those two have quite a bit of history.

In 1910, Gabrielle is a famous musician in Paris, married to an industrialist. However, she strikes up a relationship with another man, Louis. In 2014, Gabrielle is a lonely young struggling actress in L. A., housesitting a home way beyond her means. Louis is a 30-year-old incel who stalks her from her favorite dance club. Louis has sex only in his dreams, and, with his experience of being rejected by women, has trouble relating to Gabrielle when she gives him an invitation. In both cases, there is foreboding of disaster and death (the beast), something that consulting a psychic does not materially help.

The actors play different characters with different personalities, and acquit themselves well. The main stories (1910 and 2014) are well fleshed out, though the 2044 action seems to be more of an excuse to show the earlier ones.

Some reviews complain about the length of the movie, but, with the multiple stories, I find it acceptable, far more than the longer Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World, showing at the same multiplex at the same time. This movie is shortened by skipping the final credits - they put up a QR code, so if you are interested, have your cellphone ready near the end.

I'm not too fond of the scientific / Freudian mumbo jumbo that backs the stories, but I will give it a pass, since the plot depends on it. There is, however, one sex scene (or fantasy) that is bewildering.

With the action moving back and forth between 3 time periods, it can get bit confusing. At times I wished I was watching this on video, so that I could re-wind and re-view certain scenes.

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