‘Beast’ opens 24 Aug. in cinemas

A relentless lion is out to get his revenge on humans in the highly visceral film Beast starring Idris Elba, Sharlto Copley, Iyanah Halley and Leah Jeffries.

Baltasar Kormákur, who helmed the survival adventure film Everest and action thrillers Contraband and 2 Guns, is the film’s director.

In Beast, Elba takes on the role of Dr. Nate Daniels who leaves the wild to build a new life in the States with his wife. He returns to his homeland after his wife’s death with his two daughters Meredith (Halley) and Norah (Jeffries). It is when Nate feels life finally come in full circle.

They are welcomed by his long-time and closest friend Martin (Copley), a biologist and ardent anti-poacher who also manages a game reserve in Africa. Martin has survived in his South African homeland by adhering to one simple tenant: Humans will never outsmart nature.

Meredith Samuels (Iyana Halley) and Martin Battles (Sharlto Copley) in ‘Beast.’

Trapped in a game reserve with only his instincts to guide them, Nate has to survive for his girls to live.

Immersing the audience in the experience of the film, director Kormákur extends the Beast’s terrifying experiences of the characters to the audience.

“The lion is always seen from the perspective of the characters. You always feel it coming to them. You can’t cut away. You are stuck in the shot. I knew that I wanted all the big action scenes to be done like that. That increases the suspense and the excitement of being trapped in this situation,” Kormákur said.

It was also critical to Kormákur to bring the realistic version of South Africa such that the it was number one on the list for filming locations.

The team protected the natural environments they worked in. In one scene where Idris is in a watering hole, the production built an a real one, so as not to disturb an existing one used by animals.

The production also used actual town names and included a South African cast, used dialects and filmed architecture of the villages to stay true to the story.

Beast opens in local cinemas nationwide on 24 August. It is rated R-13 by the local censors board.

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