I have been meaning to see ‘American Honey’ all this time because it is one of the better-reviewed movies last Fall. But I dragged my feet – an almost three hour road movie with kids? I didn’t know if I was ready for that kind of investment. But yes, I finally did see this film, and I am glad I did.
It’s a scorcher of a movie, and so atmospheric you can feel the Texas heat on screen. It’s about Star, who leaves her seemingly dead-end life to join a gang of teenagers who go from town to town selling magazines. An archaic idea by now for sure, this whole venture. She is attracted to Jake, the gang leader, and is played by Shia LaBouef. LaBouef is an intense actor, and in his underwritten role manages to usurp, upstage everyone else he is in the scene with. I liked him, and his over-the-top performance – he is one of those magnetic actors who capture you from the first scene. Star (Sasha Lane) is attracted to him, but it isn’t as easy as that – she has to go through Krystal (Riley Keough, but I only realized that after a couple of scenes – I seriously thought it was Kristen Stewart) who is the head bitch, in more ways than one. If I have to be honest, I sometimes thought the film was overly long, but British director Andrea Arnold mostly keeps things in check – the film is absorbing. A lot of critics have been putting this film on their ten best of lists, and I get why. I don’t know if it will go on mine.