American Honey (2016 Drama Road Film)  » Movies  »
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  • What is surprising is that its auteur choose to leave these people in the middle ground, in a way that you don't feel sorry nor feel jealous of the life they longed wanted, a life full of energy and excitement
  • Above the surface these people are easy to hate, they are particularly loud and obnoxious, they are the kind I don't want to be associated with, but somehow, the film carefully put these characters into the front row that they become just like everybody else, humans
  • If there's one simple thing this film tells us, it's to withhold judgement of people until you see them up close and personal
  • But of course it is more than that, it's the brave choice to see ourselves inside these characters particularly Star, who in such a young age found her way into first time encounters, to love, to break, and to heal and find herself again amidst her seemingly endless troubles
  • It's a pure cinematic experience that do not come very often, and when the song American Honey plays perfectly near the end, the characters secretly invite you to sing along with them and you do because you know you have been part of their journey


by Laudemhir Jan Parel

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    Filmmaking is a medium that should transcend people into experiences rare in reality. Magic is one way to describe this art. The images are meticulously planned that the frames almost look surreal and incalculably rich and Andrea Arnold knows this secret so she magisterially created a piece of cinema that will stand the test of its youthful age. American Honey is a film so rare these days that evoke raw emotions and honest examination of the lost American dreams so many of us have longed fancied.
  • American Honey (2016 Drama Road Film)
  • Freedom is not at all without costs, you can escape the life you previously had in order to pursuit another but at some point you need to stop and settle. You need to think about the future. This theme reverberates in this 163-minute feature, certainly a long running time for what it is. A band of misfits going around America selling things people really don’t buy anymore - magazine subscriptions.

  • American Honey (2016 Drama Road Film)
  • Star, played by a newfound talent Sasha Lane, had a one chance encounter to abandon her miserable life - moneyless and digging foods in trash bins to support her two younger siblings and taking the responsibilities of her abusive father and non-existent mother. She had no way out until she encountered the never-before likable Shia LaBeauf as Jake in a Midwest Walmart store whose playlist included the classic Rihanna & Calvin Harris hit “We Found Love” - a song too obvious to spark romantic interest but nonetheless perfectly energized the inevitable climax of their unforeseen relationship. The song is such a brave choice but as the story progresses, its catchy words that is repeated again and again, “we found love in a hopeless place,” is nothing but an obvious foreshadowing of these characters that it becomes hard to imagine another that could do similar justice.

  • American Honey (2016 Drama Road Film)
  • The film focuses mainly on Star for many good reasons. She’s young, she’s new and unfamiliar in this game, and like most of us would feel, she thinks she’s getting the special treatment. Jake who admirably offered Star a free trip into the scenic American landscape in exchange to be part of the team made it relatively easy with his inescapable charm. A sunrise later, the team’s manager Krystal quickly interviewed Star, “Do you have someone who will miss you?” for which Star quickly answered no and off to Kansas City they go.

  • American Honey (2016 Drama Road Film)
  • Star joins a bunch of lost souls in one single mini-van and countless motels who constantly sing along to carefully chosen hip-hop songs and you cannot resist but join them in the unparalleled peaks of their youthful lives. What is surprising is that its auteur choose to leave these people in the middle ground, in a way that you don’t feel sorry nor feel jealous of the life they longed wanted, a life full of energy and excitement. Above the surface these people are easy to hate, they are particularly loud and obnoxious, they are the kind I don’t want to be associated with, but somehow, the film carefully put these characters into the front row that they become just like everybody else, humans.

  • American Honey (2016 Drama Road Film)
  • Even the choice of its aspect ratio becomes rather fitting in bringing the characters into the center. One would wonder why they chose 4:3 (almost square-like) instead of the usual 16:9. The gorgeous wide landscapes remain in the background and while they would look undoubtedly beautiful in the usual 16:9, it becomes quite clear that they are not the focus. Most of the time the camera centers in Star’s face, clearly inviting us to examine her character. If there’s one simple thing this film tells us, it’s to withhold judgement of people until you see them up close and personal. But of course it is more than that, it’s the brave choice to see ourselves inside these characters particularly Star, who in such a young age found her way into first time encounters, to love, to break, and to heal and find herself again amidst her seemingly endless troubles.

    But American Honey does not stop in its tracks, like a train its passengers have less time to reflect in their fast-moving lives leaving the doing to its audience. By the end you want to keep seeing more of this loose narrative; it does not really tell you a story with a happy ending but an honest one, so close to its heart that you begin to wonder if you are ever sitting in your place or if you are transcended inside its encapsulating frames. That’s when you know you have been caught by its magic. It’s a pure cinematic experience that do not come very often, and when the song “American Honey” plays perfectly near the end, the characters secretly invite you to sing along with them and you do because you know you have been part of their journey.



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