I had a couple of vacation days that I had to use this year so I took the week of Christmas off. Although I spent much of the break playing Assassin's Creed: Syndicate and spending time with Jenn I did get a chance to take two hours out of my vacation to watch the Netflix movie, Beasts of No Nation. The movie stars Idris Elba as a warlord in an unknown country in Africa and a boy Agu played by Abraham Attah.
If I wanted an uplifting movie this was anything but. It's a movie that is following the transformation of Agu from a normal kid into a child soldier. After his village is taken over by rebels and everyone is murdered in front of your eyes, Agu manages against all odds to escape and run away to only be captured by another group of soldiers who takes him in. Idris Elba's character the warlord takes a liking to Agu and we see that all to swift transformation of Agu.
Quite frankly if you're in a good mood before watching Beasts of No Nation there is absolutely no way you will be afterwards. Agu goes from a normal kid to a kid you begin to loathe. The one thing I can say about Beasts of No Nation is that its a movie that will constantly have you questioning your own emotions. Why am I mad at the kid? What could he have done? What could any of these kids have done? But as the heinous actions that both Agu and the rest of his squad continue to pile up I found my blood boiling and my heart racing.
At the end of the movie I was left depressed. It's a brilliant movie. The visual direction of Beasts of No Nation is stunning. For such a tough movie it's amazing how each scene is composed with such beauty in mind. And I think that's why as much as I didn't enjoy watching it, I was constantly amazed with how brilliantly put together the movie was. It's message is both profound and simple. I'm sure we are going to hear a lot of Academy Award talk surrounding this movie. Idris Elba was great but the kids in this movie steal the show. It's an incredible movie that I doubt anyone will watch more then once but I think everyone should be required to at least give it a chance. There's an important message in this movie that I don't think we can continue to ignore.