American Honey – 2016

Star (Sasha Lane), a teenager with very little to lose, is charmed into joining a group of traveling misfits on their quest to sell magazines across America. While riding turbulent waves of partying, law bending and young love, Star and the rest of her group do their best to survive, while also doing their best to have fun and experience life to its fullest. An underrated and underappreciated movie with a lengthy, but worthwhile, runtime.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Director: Andrea Arnold
Writers: Andrea Arnold
Starring: Sasha Lane, Shia LaBeouf, Riley Keough

When it comes to guilty pleasures, American Honey is right at the top of my own personal list. Having seen the movie originally upon its release, I was drawn to it instantly and enjoyed it for what it was – an adventure film about a group of American teenagers from all different walks of life, who were aiming to get by, while exploring the vast, yet beautiful country of America, along with themselves while doing so. For sure, it’s definitely not a complex film, and it’s not a flick with twists and turns thrown in at any given opportunity either, but if you’re in the mood for an easy to follow journey, and a coming-to-age story for several different characters, then give this a shot.

In regard to the cinematography, the filmmakers did a superb job of showcasing different states and cities around the United States, that aren’t necessarily captured in other more mainstream films – it’s also fair to say that the flick contained a certain summer vibe to it, which made you appreciate what you was seeing just that little bit more. Something else to mention would have to be the soundtrack, it’s heavily relied on throughout and is probably the closest thing you’ll get to perfect for a movie of this nature.

On a deeper level, the filmmakers injected several subplots, many of which attempt to make the viewer question how they look at certain people within society, while not forgetting the exploration of young love also. If you’re a viewer that can appreciate the sociological aspect of life, especially from a young persons point of view, then you’ll be able to appreciate what the filmmakers have done with American Honey.

With that being said, something worthy of discussion, however, is the mammoth one-hundred and sixty-three minute runtime, which to some, would be too much to endure, and I can certainly understand that point of view. I personally believe that there could have been a sweet spot around the two-hour mark that could possibly have been considered.

In terms of the casting, Sasha Lane adopted the role of Star, a largely unknown actress prior to this film, while Shia LaBeouf and Riley Keough are the more established actors that portray Jake and Krystal respectively. Despite the strong performances from all involved, it’s fair to say that this is most definitely a film where the acting didn’t necessarily have to take center stage, especially as it’s been reported that the filmmakers weren’t too strict with the script put forward and employed a large percentage of the support cast rather spontaneously.

Ultimately, a really impressive and at times thought-provoking movie. One to watch, especially if you’re hoping to just sit back and get lost in a world that isn’t quite as divided and chaotic as some would have you believe.

“I think the devil has a hold of your daughter…”

Star – American Honey

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