Home Entertainment The Beast: A Haunting Exploration of Love and Fear

The Beast: A Haunting Exploration of Love and Fear


Discover the haunting journey of doomed lovers in Bertrand Bonello’s film, The Beast. Explore the intertwining timelines and themes of love, fear, and vulnerability. Experience the captivating performances of Léa Seydoux as she seamlessly transitions between different genres and emotions. Embrace the complexities of human emotions in this unique and unforgettable cinematic experience.

The Beast: A Haunting Exploration of Love and Fear

Bertrand Bonello’s film, The Beast, takes viewers on a haunting journey through three different lifetimes of doomed lovers, portrayed by Léa Seydoux and George MacKay. While the film incorporates various genres, such as period drama and science fiction, it ultimately resonates as a horror movie.

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( Credit to: Vulture )

The opening scene immediately establishes this atmosphere as Seydoux confronts a green-screen set, pretending to be threatened by a non-existent monster. The eerie combination of her convincing fear and the ominous score sets the tone for the unsettling experiences that unfold throughout the film.

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( Credit to: Vulture )

Intertwining Timelines and Doomed Love

The Beast intertwines three distinct timelines in which Seydoux’s character, Gabrielle, encounters MacKay’s character, Louis. In 2014 Los Angeles, Gabrielle is a model and aspiring actor, exposed to the unsettling world of green screens and grotesque safety videos. In 1910 Paris, she is an aristocratic wife trapped in a loveless marriage, while in the dystopian future of 2044, she is a dissatisfied worker in a society controlled by AI. Each encounter with Louis leads to Gabrielle’s destruction, emphasizing the recurring theme of doomed love.

Although each timeline holds its significance, the 2014-set scenes hold a particular allure due to their daring choice to draw inspiration from a recent mass shooter. In this version, Louis becomes an incel with violent intentions, stalking Gabrielle and posing a direct threat to her life. The film delves into the fear of vulnerability and the paralyzing fear of getting hurt, exploring the masculine perspective.

Intriguing Ideas and Interconnected Themes

Throughout the film, The Beast presents a plethora of intriguing ideas that, although not fully explored, captivate the audience. Various elements recur like rhymes, creating a sense of continuity. The doll factory in 1910 parallels an animatronic toy in 2014 and a gynoid in 2044. Gabrielle’s rejection by a trio of women in 2014 mirrors a similar encounter in the future. The film also features clairvoyants, bodies floating in water, and intimate touches, creating a tapestry of interconnected themes.

Léa Seydoux’s Impressive Performance

Léa Seydoux’s performance is particularly impressive, seamlessly transitioning between corseted melodrama and dystopian sci-fi. The 2014 segment, heavily influenced by David Lynch, showcases Seydoux’s ability to embody a tangible and human character while engaging in inexplicable actions. Despite the forces beyond her control, Seydoux infuses Gabrielle with warmth and a kamikaze openness, allowing room for hope amidst a lifetime of pain.

A Contradictory and Mesmerizing Film

The Beast is a contradictory and messy film, and that is part of its charm. It encourages viewers to embrace the complexities of human emotions rather than conforming to dull consistency. Bonello’s exploration of love, fear, and the intertwining of different timelines creates a truly unique and unforgettable cinematic experience.

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