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Review: Beast (Directed by Christoffer Boe) (Fantasia 2012)

Beast (Directed by Christoffer Boe) (Fantasia 2012)
5 10

PLOT: Bruno (Nicolas Bro) and Maxine (Marijana Jankovic) are a Danish couple, interested in pushing the sexual boundaries of their relationship. After several years of torrid experimentation, Bruno discovers that Maxine is being unfaithful. This corresponds with weird stomach aches, and a black, ink-like substance that starts to excrete from Bruno’s body.

REVIEW: This is some weird shit. Really- even for me and in the past I’ve seen and loved offbeat Fantasia selections like THE LIFE & DEATH OF A PORNO GANG, and EX-DRUMMER. It’s not that BEAST pushes any boundaries in terms of violence (there’s virtually none) or sexuality. Rather, it’s just an uncomfortably intimate movie about two people you probably wouldn’t want to go near- EVER.

It’s obvious that Bruno and Maxine’s sex life is a little “peculiar” when, in the midst of a love-making session, the morbidly obese Bruno pulls out a knife and, to Maxine’s orgasmic delight, slashes open the skin underneath her left breast and sucks the blood. Ummmm…yeah.

From there, BEAST only gets weirder, with Bruno alternately following Maxine to her rendez-vous with the married (and decidedly less kinky) Valdemar (Nikolaj Lie Kass), while undergoing to weird changes-with glimpses inside his body revealing a black substance spreading through his arteries. He ends up in and out of the hospital, but the changes here aren’t particularly supernatural- rather they seem to be outward manifestations of inner turmoil- if I understood what I was watching that it (I’m not so sure).

Nicolas Bro, who appeared a couple of years ago in a great little Fantasia film called ADAM’S APPLES (Netflix it), is getting to be increasingly well known in the west, thanks to his part in WAR HORSE, as the kindly German soldier who cares for the titular character during his sojourn with the artillery. This is a far different role, and given his girth, it’s strange seeing him in such graphic sex scenes (he’s not exactly Mickey Rourke in 9 ½ WEEKS). But- Bro is very good, particularly during his bleakly funny meltdown which having a beer with Kass’ Valdermar.

Jankovich, as the sexier, female half of the equation is similarly good, with her having picked up Fantasia’s award for best actress. I haven’t seen her before this, but she anchors the film, veering from perverted seductress with Bro, to a more conventional romance with Kass.

BEAST only runs about 80 minutes, so it’s not too long a slog- but I don’t know that I particularly understood the film and by the time the credits rolled I bolted for the door. It was interesting, but it wasn’t strong enough (for me anyways) that I was willing to dig deeply enough into it to figure out exactly what director Christoffer Boe was trying to put across.

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