Beasts of No Nation is a gut-wrenching film that tells the story of Agu, a young boy who is forced to become a child soldier in a West African country. Tampered by war and in the absence of his family, Agu joins a ragtag army of child soldiers led by the charismatic but ruthless Commandant. Cary Joji Fukunaga, the director and screenplay writer of the movie, brings to life a gripping story of survival, betrayal, and the erosion of humanity amidst the chaos of war.
The movie is set in a war-torn West African nation where a bloody civil war rages between government troops and a rebel army. Agu, a young boy, loses his family and is forced to flee when the rebels take over the city. Agu, along with his father and brother, initially chooses to stay behind while the rest of the family escapes. However, the military subsequently attacks the city and kills Agu’s father and brother. In the ensuing chaos, Agu is captured by the NDF, a rebel faction that is predominantly composed of child soldiers.
Under the NDF, Agu is forced to undergo brutal training, after which he is sent to fight in the front lines. Initially, Agu finds solace in his new “family,” his fellow soldiers who are battling right alongside him. However, as their missions become increasingly violent and heinous, Agu starts to question whether what they’re doing is morally right. Ultimately, the internal conflict between Agu’s conscience and his loyalty to the Commandant comes to a head, resulting in a gripping climax and conclusion that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Direction and Performances
Cary Joji Fukunaga, the director, does an excellent job of humanizing the child soldiers, exploring their thought processes, and delving into their emotional tumult. The movie is shot beautifully, and the cinematography is simultaneously stunning and gut-wrenching. The film’s realism can be attributed largely to the performances – with Emmanuel Affadzi, as the Commandant, and Abraham Attah, as Agu, delivering top-notch work. Both actors manage to bring their characters to life authentically, and their performances leave a lasting impression on the audience.
Beasts of No Nation is a heartbreakingly realistic portrayal of war and the lasting effects it has on those who survive it. With superb performances, excellent direction, and a gripping plot, the film demands that its audience confront the realities of war and its impact on society and, most specifically, the children who are forced to endure its horrors. If you’re in the mood for a cinematic experience that will leave you feeling both emotionally drained and intellectually stimulated, then Beasts of No Nation is the movie for you.