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No Beast So Fierce by Laura Kern

Discuss about the Media Identities for Animal Kingdom.

The following essay is an analysis of expert reviews on the legendary movie by David Michod titled, “Animal Kingdom”. The essay constructs the media identity of “Animal Kingdom” throws light on the reviews of three professional critics. The reviews have done an exceptional work in upholding the film and giving exceptional comments on the plot, dialogue, characterization, and entire structure of the movie. The various elements that the movie has used stand one of the best to date in interpreting the theme of the movie. The movie has won several accolades and the commendable words of several critics. The reviews have offered a clear picture of the movie and have scrutinized each and every scene, each and every expression of the characters, and plot design to understand the movie in depth and explain it to the world through their words. The title of the movie is what brings out the underlying theme of the movie and paints a gory picture about crime in the streets of Australia.

Animal Kingdom is an Australian thriller movie directed by David Michod in the year 2010. The film is inspired by real-life stories of the Pettingill family known as one of the most notorious crime family in Melbourne Australia. The film was also loosely inspired by the epic Walsh Street police shooting event occurring on the streets of Melbourne in 1988. This movie throws light on the crime lifestyle and underworld scene scenarios of Australia (Michod and Wilson, 1980). Initially, in 2010, the film was developed as a story revolving around the character of “J” and was also named after the same character. However, this script had several things lacking, having an immature structure to it and lacking enough characters to portray the story. But, with loads of help from the movie industry and from imminent film directors, the script got a complete makeover and was released as “Animal Kingdom´ in 2010. After its release, the film has enjoyed a lot of compliments and approval by a number of film critics (Frost, 2010). The film had a budget of $5million Australian dollars and it grossed a whopping $A 4,350,187 alone in Australia and a total of $6,793,982 including North America and other regions. As said earlier, the movie received overwhelming acclamations from critics and was rated amongst top 50 films. The movie has caused enough impact on its viewers. The nail-biting scenes combined with dramatic songs and equally mesmerizing background music has succeeded in keeping the audience glued to their seat and affect them to levels unknown. So much so, the audience just could not get enough of the crime drama and this resulted in developing a TV series based on David Michod’s movie. The plot and the characters have done justice in keeping the story undyingly interesting from the first to till the end (Bennett and Satre, 2000). The critic explains how each and every scene; say for example the one in which video is flickering on a Television screen in a barely lit room, and the camera slowly moves past the teenage protagonist lying on the couch along with his girlfriend, to the marred face of Pope. The critic explains how this scene with its powerful ballad sends chills down the audience’s spine, chills of dread and not joyful anticipation. This is barely just one of the haunting moments of the many portrayed in the movie. The critic has done a remarkable study of each of the scenes, the background music, and the underlying sensations. The movie gives out nerve-wracking vibes, all of which could not have been possible without the use of impeccable sound design, and the choice of slowing down certain actions has proven to be remarkable (Kerrigan, 2016). This movie has undoubtedly given a new face to the history of Australian film-making. Australian movies have never stopped being intriguing, but David Michod with his film and his awe-inspiring filmmaking skills has just raised the bar higher. The filmmaker, as the critic explains, was the founder of Blue-tongue Films, which features a congregation of young minds; these people happen to make films with a dark outlook like David himself (Kerrigan, 2016). The movie, Animal Kingdom, could not have been this good had it been directed by any other filmmaker. As David possesses a unique talent of harnessing stories from very simple, innocent situation with a surprising twist to it (Kern, 2010).

Animal Kingdom by Guardian

The Animal Kingdom is a movie depicting the story of wounded, dying animals. The animals here are not plain carnivorous one living in the jungle and keeping to their own business of feeding, mating, and living. These are animals of the most dangerous and vicious kinds. These are crime fellas, and David Michod through his crime drama and given us a vivid, breathtaking picture of these animals and their lifestyles. Their passion, emotion, pride has all been depicted in the movie (Bradshaw, 2011). The critic through his critical review about the movie shows his own likeness for it and how moved they were. The movie has successfully revived the once renowned crime family of Melbourne. The critic explains the movie's plot and has used various ingredients to evoke passion in the hearts of the readers. The critical review has done a job of equal appreciation in bringing alive the passionate crime drama going on in the streets of Melbourne. The review explains how one scene transforms into the next and does its job in keeping the audience glued to their screens (French, 2011). The review has done a fabulous job in reading individual character and drawing a detailed sketch of them through his words. The review has dissected every scene, the expressions of each character, and every other teeny tiny detail that will be necessary for describing the feelings of the crime-doers. As a result, after reading the reviews, one will be automatically drawn towards the characters. It is like, if you haven’t got enough of the movie already, you must immediately read the review (Smaill, 2013). The review sits like a door idly waiting to be opened to millions of revelations. The review gives out so much more than the movie. Each and every dialogue, each and every expression has been dissected down a number of times to find out meanings. It feels like the movie was a piece of inspiration and the critic has woven a poem out of it (Clancey, 2015). The movie, without any doubt, was worth all of this. The movie, though having a limited duration, offered so many layers of comprehension about the plot to the common people. There is a crime, there is emotion, there is a struggle for existence, there is sadness for dying business, there is fear of losing people, there are anger and vengeance of having lost dear ones. The movie has been shown from the teenager "J"s point of view. It is as if he stumbles upon into a bizarrely dysfunctional situation, walking from outside to the inside and taking all of us with him, who are curiously waiting to learn about them. The critic points out that the way the story has been told is exceptional, using the minimal yet exclusively important stuff and depicting the most (Rowland et al., 2012).

Animal Kingdom by Graphitti

This critical review starts by explaining how the sensational crime drama by David Michod has reinvigorated his faith about Australian movies being capable of profound complexity. The critic comments on the way David has given a unique view of crime, depicting a sad portrayal of a renowned crime dynasty. The critic has appreciated how this particular movie does not follow the conventional style of other Australian movies that draw inspiration from true events and sensationalize criminality and crime in a similar fashion how media sensationalizes news (Goodman, 2016). This particular critical review discusses the different elements that altogether make the movie a complete masterpiece. The critical review explains how the opening stanza of the movie is by far the most powerful, given any genre of film to this date. It starts with a normal event wherein a son and his mother is watching television while doing dishes until the mother falls down and dies. This is beyond normality to such an extent that a normal audience cannot even begin to prepare them for it. The critic praises the perfectly pitched tone of the film and the madness which does a balance job, neither boring nor too distracting but completely keeping the suspense alive throughout (Ryan, 2014). David Michod has given more than one dimension to all of his characters. It is interesting to watch how he twists their mental and physical terrain. The scenes, the dialogues, and the execution have been done in such a manner that the characters are either dominating one scene or getting confronted in another. This is just like how an animal can never really stick to being one dimensional inside a jungle; at one point it may be killing a prey (dominating) or meeting head-on with yet another bigger animal (confronted), regardless of their prowess (Hale, 2016). Hence, the name “animal kingdom” sounds just right, it single-handedly gives you the entire idea yet keeping you curious about who wins and who loses. The critical review comments about the personal narration of the teenager protagonist and how it is effective in giving us an outsider's opinion about the whole plot. Altogether, this eloquent narration dies as soon as the teenager dissipates into the crime family. This allows the audience to directly feel about what is happening rather than being fed about how to feel all throughout the movie. So both self-narration and absence of narration does their job of first guiding the audience and then giving them the freedom to feel independent. The identities in the movie have delivered career-best performances, making us connect with each one of them, feel their sorrows, horrors, love, and all other elements. The way the movie ends is also remarkable. It automatically urges the audience to think of an inevitable question. You cannot help but wonder if Australia is criminal deep down to its roots. The reactions are extremely tangible and so authentic. And in this very moment, the movie draws the conclusion. The critic feels is that the conclusion is incomplete and urges people to think out of the box (Hale, 2016).

Conclusion

“Animal Kingdom” by David Michod is a crime drama set on the streets of Melbourne, Australia. It is a powerful movie, that which uses a combination of nail-biting dark plot, nerve-wracking sound design, and equally moving character performance to depict raw feelings of pain, anger, love, vengeance, fear. The filmmaker has fulfilled all of his duties in keeping the movie plain but intense. The movie revolves around vicious animals playing their roles in the crime dynasty, sometimes dominating and other times confronting.

References

Bennett, K. and Satre, T. (2000). Movie Review. The Prison Journal, 80(2), pp.228-232.

Bradshaw, P. (2011). Animal Kingdom. The Guardian.

Clancey, G. (2015). Some findings from an Australian local crime prevention case study. Crime Prevention & Community Safety, 17(2), pp.71-87.

French, P. (2011). Animal Kingdom. The Guardian.

Frost, L. (2010). Melbourne stories. History Australia, 7(2), pp.44.1-44.2.

Goodman, T. (2016). Animal Kingdom. Graphitti.

Hale, M. (2016). Animal Kingdom. New York Times.

Kern, L. (2010). No Beast So Fierce. Film Society of Lincoln Center.

Kerrigan, S. (2016). The spectator in the film-maker: re-framing filmology through creative film-making practices. Journal of Media Practice, pp.1-13.

Michod, R. and Wilson, D. (1980). Evolution in Structured Populations. Evolution, 34(5), p.1034.

Rowland, D., Myers, A., Adamski, B. and Burnett, A. (2012). Role of attribution in affective responses to a partnered sexual situation among sexually dysfunctional men. BJU International, 111(3b), pp.E103-E109.

Ryan, M. (2014). Animal Kingdom. TV Review.

Smaill, B. (2013). Asianness and Aboriginality in Australian Cinema. Quarterly Review of Film and Video, 30(1), pp.89-102.

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