‘Beast Beast’ assessment: An indie drama with a sadly American ending

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Youthful self-expression is a joyride in a minefield in Danny Madden’s “Beast Beast,” an adrenalized, tone-shifting indie bringing the technology-fueled lives of three suburban souls of various circumstances, hopes and issues into pathways destined to converge.

Our introduction to Madden’s trio of fresh-faced, still-forming characters is thru self-shot video of their passions. Outgoing, born-to-perform high-schooler Krista (Shirley Chen) is the energized middle of her theater class, her cellphone digicam at all times useful to assist hone a monologue or motion piece. New classmate Nito (Jose Angeles) is a soft-spoken skateboarder with a pleasant demeanor and uploads that showcase his abilities. Krista’s next-door neighbor is clean-cut and severe Adam (Will Madden, the director’s brother), at 24 nonetheless dwelling at house, and a weapons fanatic vlogger determined for social media stardom with the guns-and-patriotism crowd (and due to this fact profitable in his dad and mom’ eyes).

What do we all know of anyone from a fraction of life they’ve chosen to file for an imagined posterity? Extra urgently, what are our needs for these whose want for achievement through consideration isn’t at all times thoughtfully thought of? Madden navigates this world of cultivated persona, strain, alienation and enthusiasm with admirable sensitivity and trendy zeal, the camerawork and modifying an interesting seize bag of naturalistic power and subjective flashiness.

Then the cautionary story messaging asserts itself extra, and “Beast Beast” begins to really feel only some steps faraway from after-school particular territory. You gained’t be stunned the place it’s headed, in different phrases, even when the bluntness of the swerve towards violence nonetheless has the facility to shock.

What saves the clunky closing act from being dilutive, nevertheless, are the performances: the untapped grit with which Chen shades Krista’s relentless pluck; Angeles’ mixture of melancholy and appeal; and Will Madden’s studious avoidance of caricature in portraying a kind we’ve all doing our greatest to make sense of from too many headlines. For all of the film’s soupiness, we’re nonetheless left with a handful of memorable characters at a pivotal time of their emotional improvement, and for that, “Beast Beast” can boast a well-intentioned, caring integrity.

‘Beast Beast’

Not rated

Working time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Taking part in: Begins April 30, Laemmle Noho 7, North Hollywood; and Laemmle Digital Cinema

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