Rare Beasts – The DVDfever Review – Billie Piper’s directorial debut… because she wants to

Rare Beasts Rare Beasts marks Billie Piper‘s (Collateral, I Hate Suzie) directorial debut, beginning with her – as Mandy – on a date with Pete (Leo Bill) who, amongst other things, states he finds women intolerable, but he can’t find one. The conversation moves on to talking about her teeth, before ending up like they’re having one of those weird conversations as if they hate each other. Why would someone do that? It’s like the final scene in Juliette Binoche’s Certified Copy, and that topped off a movie that no-one should copy.

In fact, I’m not even sure they like each other, or if they’re just together by habit, given the alternative is being single. As comes the question later: “What do you want?”

After having an evening with the girls where they’re about sex in pained, anguished terms while doing cocaine, what follows is basically a few weeks in Mandy’s manic life, as she tries to raise a son – who seems to have a massive case of ADHD issues, find love, puts up with her parents, goes for a meal with Pete’s family, etc.

Along the way, she tunes into the paranoia of others as they go about their lives, yet everyone seems to each be leading such a ridiculously intense life.

Fans of Lily James (The Pursuit Of Love, Baby Driver) can see her pop up, as Cressida, in a wedding scene, as she gets married, with a song that starts off as simple piano and turns into The Chemical Brothers’ Swoon.

Rare Beasts is sharply edited at times, but all too often, the dialogue gets drowned out, such as 19 minutes in when she’s having a conversation with her mum (Kerry Fox) in hushed tones, talking about her Dad (David Thewlis), while the dog barks loudly in the background. Maybe this is done on purpose like Christopher Nolan does quite often?

Also, what starts with promise, just seems to crumble into a mass of random nonsensical and disconnected scenes and unlikeable characters.

Rare Beasts is released in cinemas on Friday May 21st, but the film isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.

Check out the trailer below:

Rare Beasts – Official Trailer

Detailed specs:

Running time: 92 minutes
Release date: May 21st 2021
Studio: Western Edge Pictures
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Rating: 3/10

Director: Billie Piper
Producer: Vaughan Sivell
Screenplay: Billie Piper
Music: Nathan Coen, Johnny Lloyd

Mandy: Billie Piper
Pete: Leo Bill
Marion: Kerry Fox
Vic: David Thewlis
Larch: Toby Woolf
Waitress: Hilary Agostini
Carly: Alice Bailey Johnson
Cathy: Antonia Campbell-Hughes
Meredith: Rosa Coduri
Woody: Jolyon Coy
Coffee Shop Guy: Mario Demetriou
Larch’s Dad, Matthew: Ben Dilloway
Bertie: Michael Elwyn
Robbo: Leo Flanagan
Vanessa: Mariah Gale
Judith: Meryl Griffiths
Tapper: Van Hu
Cressida: Lily James
Val: Montserrat Lombard