Saturday, October 15, 2016

american honey…

Marcus and I went to the Watershed last night to see Andrea Arnold’s “American Honey”. This long film (it’s 164 minutes long!) is something of a ‘road movie’ – with, for me, hints of “Easy Rider” at times. It features a group of hard-partying teenagers criss-crossing America’s Midwest selling magazine subscriptions (and also frequently stealing food from shops and jewellery from households in the process). It’s a hard, raw life and each member of the group is given strict rules they have to adhere to (from their “queen bee”/American Honey(?), Krystal – brilliantly played by Riley Keough) if they want to survive.
If they don’t perform, they’re kicked out…

A girl named Star (played by the very impressive Sasha Lane), who lives on the fringes of society – living off discarded food from skips – comes across the group at a service station. Compared with her lifestyle, these youngsters look as though they’re having fun. They’re wild, exuberant and apparently carefree. She’s immediately attracted to one member of the group called Jake (played by Shia LaBeouf) – a sort of senior “lieutenant” – who asks her to join them (he gets commission for recruiting new members!)… she’s got nothing to lose.
Very quickly, Star and Jake form a magnetic, passionate(!) attraction for each other… which ultimately offends “queen bee” and underlines Star’s uncertain place within the group.

To be honest, I’m still not sure how I rated the film… I liked the soundtrack and the energy and spontaneity of the group, but I also found it all rather depressing (and too long?)… there was a powerful sense of hopelessness… and inevitability.
But that’s probably what Arnold is trying to say.
Life being lived on the edge.

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