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Beast

Canadian Premiere
  • Denmark
  • 2011
  • 83 mins
  • DCP
  • Danish
  • English (subtitles)
Hosted by Producers Tine Grew and Caroline Schlüter

WINNER: Jury Prize, Gerardmer Fantastic Film Festival, 2012
Official Selection, South by Southwest 2012

“Visceral, dark and disturbing… This is the beating drum of love as seen through the actual heart: a powerful muscle, red and pumping to the point of attack” - Shelagh M. Rowan-Legg, TWITCHFILM

In BEAST’s opening minutes, newlyweds Bruno (Nicolas Bro) and Maxine (Marijana Jankovic) are deeply, madly in love. Over time, though, routine settles in and Maxine begins to drift away. Having given such a large part of himself to her, Bruno is left hollowed out and unstable by the very tangible possibility of her absence. She won’t tell him what is wrong, but the reality of what their marriage has become is undeniable and it shakes him to physical corrosion, leading to a string of mysterious ailments. Bruno tries to keep Maxine as a part of him, going so far is to ingest her blood, but it is not enough. He suspects that her friendship with mutual pal Valdemar (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) is at least partially to blame. Before this relationship is over, all involved will be reduced to their animalistic cores. Lust. Violence. Need. Love?

All-consuming love can be a scary thing. It can lead an otherwise controlled person into emotional disarray and has destroyed more lives than the combined body count of history’s many wars. Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of full-throttle love is the unpredictably of what it will evolve into over time. After spending years of your life with the same person, what will they mean to you? And who will you be to them?

Master Danish filmmaker Christoffer Boe (ALLEGRO, OFFSCREEN) is back! A powerful and upsettingly more relatable counterpart to Lars Von Trier’s ANTICHRIST and Andrzej Zulawski’s POSSESSION, BEAST is a nightmare drama that glistens with the sweat of interpersonal adoration gone bad, addressing co-dependency as an ultimately lonely act of self-destruction. The script feels almost as if it were carved into the screenwriter’s own flesh, words cutting like knives, blood shaping every letter. Its trifecta of performances are uniformly exceptional. Affable superstar Nicolas Bro (ADAM'S APPLES, AT WORLD’S END, RECONSTRUCTION) is nothing short of paralyzing as the film’s tortured lead, utilizing his larger-than-life physical presence and gift for channeling emotional resonance to an impact that all but bursts the screen into flames. Being a Danish film, there is no shortage of dark humour creeping in from the peripheries. In BEAST, love is both a force of nature and a chemical imbalance. Devour or be devoured.

— Mitch Davis

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