American Honey (2016): Review

I came into the theater only knowing that Shia LaBeouf was in the movie and that it some awards at Cannes.  So when I watched the film, I had the same expectations that I had when I saw “The Room”.

“The Room” it is not, but it wasn’t bad.

Star (Sasha Lane) is the main character of this piece.  We are introduced to her dumpster diving with two other kids.  She witnesses a van full of young door to door magazine salesmen led by Jake (played by Shia LaBeouf) enjoying a pit stop at a K-Mart.  After Jake introduces himself and offers her a job, Star leaves her life of dumpster diving, abusive home and siblings and heads out with the travelling magazine sales team.

Star would find herself getting involved with Jake intimately.  This would cause her experience on the road with the sales team to be very challenging.  There were times that I, as a viewer, thought the film was gonna go to a very dark place with the decisions she was making.  In these decisions, she would encounter some characters would become some the stand out scenes of the film.  In the end, she would always return to team.  It seemed that this movie wasn’t about the danger she was getting in but more about her the experiences.

What caught my eye from the beginning of the film, was the fact that the movie was shot in  4:3 aspect ratio.  So for a few minutes, I couldn’t help think that I was watching an old TV movie in the theater.  I would soon realize that cinematography was too good to hate.

“American Honey” also had them slaps.  When Rihanna first played in the K-Mart scene, I thought it was a one off.  Looking at the cast I didn’t think urban music.  But then a songs like “Uber Everywhere” by Madeintyo and “Choices” by E-40 were played as the sales team’s soundtrack.

All of the songs were played in film, not as a score.  Something that I haven’t seen much in film.  Though I wasn’t a fan of all the songs, I will say that film got me to listen to “American Honey” by Lady Antebellum and not hate it.

There wasn’t any real stunts in the film.  Not even a fall or a single punch (from what I can remember).



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