Movie Review: #Beast of Burden is a Burden no Audience Should Bear

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Movie Review- #Beast of Burden is a Burden no Audience Should Bear

Let me begin the review of the movie, beast of burden, by saying that actors must ensure that they take on new roles only if they are ready to break new grounds and go beyond bounds; if not, then let them stick to roles they are most comfortable with.

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In the same vein, I must stress that every producer must ask him/herself what new vision the movie they are about to produce will project, they must ask themselves if the production will further enhance the narrative of the industry in which they find themselves? If ‘no’ is the answer to the latter question, then the production should be buried as in their minds.

Having established this, one begins to wonder why the cast and crew of ‘Beast of Burden’ accepted to be nailed to the cross for a movie that would at best have been a part of a short story collection.

From the almost poetic title, one is excited and eager to see what or who the beast of burden is. A person who is also in touch with memory will also reckon that the title bears a semblance to a song by English rock band The Rolling Stones.

For those who read a lot of comics, you begin to wonder if this movie is a screen adaptation of the book series created by writer Evan Dorkin and artist Jill Thompson, and published by American company Dark Horse Comics, sadly this film is not about a team of intelligent animals that investigate different paranormal events that occur in their small neighborhood of Burden Hill.

So what then is this film about, the answer simply is nothing really extraordinary. A pilot named Sean Haggerty is saddled with the responsibility of delivering a shipment of cocaine across the U.S.-Mexican border for his final run as a drug smuggler. “Alone in a small plane, he’s faced with the burden of his allegiance to the cartel, his deal with the Drug Enforcement Administration and his increasingly tense relationship with his wife.”

A quick check will reveal that there are so many movies about drug mules; hence, one expects that for a new movie to cash in on this theme there must be a very special angle to it. However, Beast of Burden did not come with something special; it came with a burden, for its casts and the audience.

As regards the burden placed on the casts, Daniel Radcliffe was casted to bear the brunt of this psychological thriller. Perhaps the hopes of the producer and the director of this movie rested solely on Radcliffe’s performance, sadly, the wonder-boy of the Harry Potter franchise could only give so much and I pitied him.

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There was nothing really for Radcliffe to deliver on, it was a straight-jacket script and the only move that might have given him an edge would have been to teach him or let him take a class or two in martial arts and the art of shooting guns, for an ex-Air Force pilot he was too flat.

The truth remains that Radcliffe tried too hard to fit into his role, and really this movie would have taken him nowhere, except to an empty nighttime horizon where he would be left to struggle with radios.

As regards the rest of the cast, they did little or nothing to enhance the script. There was nothing to show that they were pushing themselves over the edge, they were just okay with the limits of their roles. One could easily argue that a cast including Grace Gummer, Pablo Schreiber, and Robert Wisdom could have offered more to any drama in which they find themselves.

Most parts of the movie were acted in the air, with a couple of flash blacks that did not necessarily push the story further for audience engagement, there was a chance for redemption and that was when the pilot finally hit the ground, however, some sins can never be redeemed.

Jesper Ganslandt’s Beast of Burden is an example of how a story which is not well told can become a burden to the audience, it further informs us of the need for actors to set their priorities right, as regards the scripts and roles to accept.

My final advice would be that Radcliffe who is the star of the movie must watch it, lest he gets lost in the crowd, stick to that which bests puts you in the light.

Do not go see this movie in the cinemas! Just get some popcorn at home, turn off the light and watch the movie with a friend or a lover, and let the burden it offers help you two realize how much can be lost if you take your eyes off the important things in life.


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