Film Review – Rare Beasts (2019)


Loose romance of anti-attachment and openness of sex alongside female experience is stretched to the extreme in an at times hilarious, biting slice of life according to Mandy (Billie Piper).

Personally career-driven in a somewhat off the wall television production company, single mum Mandy has decided she wants a man and it is through the opening credits we meet potential partner, Pete (Leo Bill).

This self-confessed religious benefactor speaks his mind in a perverse manner and in doing so is hard to take at times, for us the viewer and Mandy.

Also a fellow colleague at the company, there’s something about Pete which attracts the unusual outlook that Mandy has on life into his arms and life.

Opposites may attract but will these two high voltage personalities make it.

Her inner-self hears voices of passers by, people chanting mantras or self esteem quotes to themselves. Just part of this ongoing dark comedy.

Her odd, temperamental, adolescent son Larch (Toby Woolf) takes a while to be convinced Pete is alright, their equal doses weirdness together obviously appeals to the child, becoming a fan of his mums’ new boyfriend.

Expanding the relationship, Pete invites Mandy and Larch to a family wedding. Awkwardness follows.
Look-fast for Lily Taylor cameo as stunning bride, Cressida.

Mandy lives with her chain-smoking mum Marion (the amazing, Kerry Fox) whilst long separated to her pint loving father Vic (brilliant, David Thewlis) he still is part of their life, bookending the eccentric family in later times of need.

Rare Beasts is different, edgy feminist humour not for everyone.

The film is outstandingly obscure and a downright irresistible outlook of life and effervescent fist pump of self-respect.

Writer, Director, lead Billie Piper, gives it everything to roaring success, I really hope this is only the beginning of her auteur trip.

★★ 1/2

Comedy, Drama | UK, 2019 | 15 | Cinema, Digital HD | 21st May 2021 (UK) | Republic Film Distribution | Dir.Nillie Piper | Billie Piper, Leo Bill, Kerry Fox, David Thewlis, Lily James

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