Review: Alpha



Genre: Drama, Adventure, Family
Duration: 96 Minutes
Language: English
India Release Date: 24-AUG-2018
Pick-D-Flick Rating: 3.5 on 5

In the prehistoric past, a young man struggles to return home after being separated from his tribe during a buffalo hunt. He finds a similarly lost wolf companion, and starts a friendship that would change humanity.

Overall Review:
Alpha, directed by Albert Hughes, tells the story of Boy and Canine relationship, set 20,000 years ago in the tundra of Europe. The subject matter is handled really well, and there are plenty of ‘WOW’ moments. The plot of the film is simple yet effective: Young Keda tries to survive alone in the wilderness after he’s left for dead during his first hunt with his Cro-Magnon tribe. He soon forms an unlikely alliance with a lone wolf that was abandoned by its pack. Facing overwhelming odds and nonstop danger, Keda and the wolf must now trek through a harsh and unforgiving landscape to make it home before winter. Film doesn’t have a wealth of dialogue and what’s there is surprisingly all delivered in some unknown prehistoric language, which is translated by English subtitles. Kido Smit-McPhee, as Keda, does a great job portraying a teen in the throes of manhood. He has the perfect balance of vulnerability and self-determination. Cinematographer, Martin Gschlacht and the visual effects team create a world that is as beautiful as it is dangerous, often framing the characters in the center of a vast, almost endless landscape. The directing by Albert Hughes is fantastic. The award-winning director has had the great skill of combining drama with action in the past and he continues to deliver this time too. One of the best features of this movie is the realization of theories of how prehistoric people lived their daily lives. Seeing how they might have tracked animals, shared information, kept themselves and others safe, was fascinating. Almost as striking is the scenery. Alpha sees Hughes weave three familiar tales together – a son trying to appease his father, the bonding of boy and canine and the quest to journey home – into a captivating whole. If you are a dog lover or just a lover of film in general Alpha is a slow burn but definitely worth it.

PDF Verdict:
An epic adventure set in the Ice Age (in Europe) 20,000 years ago, Alpha is visually stunning right from FRAME 1. It’s meant to appeal to the heart, not the head. Watch Alpha for the spectacle; the bigger the screen, the better.

Ratings: 3.5 on 5
Performance: 4 on 5
Script: 3.5 on 5
Screenplay: 4 on 5
Music / Background Score: 3.5 on 5
CGI / Animation: 4 on 5

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