Beef – Film review by Andrea Carnevali

Beef ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Review by Andrea Carnevali

Two people let a road rage incident burrow into their minds and slowly consume their every thought and action. Available to stream on Netflix.

I saw this a while ago, but since then this latest Netflix show has been on everyone’s lips as the one to watch these days.

It is a series as hard to define as it is to stop watching once you get going.

I have to admit it didn’t grab me straight away. The idea of watching hateful and obnoxious people behaving disgracefully is not really on top of my favourite hobbies, but undeniably there is something about the characters depicted here which made it strangely mesmerising.

Also, the way the series is structured, leaving you hanging and curious for “… just a bit more” at the end of each episode, made it a very bingeable experience, proving that once again, you don’t necessarily need to like or feel for characters to be able to watch and even enjoying something.

Indeed at the start of Beef it is easy to despise and even hate pretty much everyone on the screen and yet, the series skilfully grabs your attention with so many bendy twists that at some point you just have to give up guessing where it’s all going as, little by little, surprisingly, you find yourself shifting sympathies towards each of those people you were so ready to dismiss.

It all starts so simply, with a mundane road-rage encounter which quickly spirals out of control, pulling a couple of strangers on a trajectory which will change their lives and those of the people around them.

Steven Yeun and Ali Wong play the two twisty, mad characters at the centre of it beautifully: their anger, resentment, frustration and need for revenge is wild but always depicted with empathy and serious undertones, which is why the series in the end works so well and wins over your (well, at least my) initial reservations.

And as the plot escalates into utter madness and comedy bends into darkness and nastiness (including an unexpected turn into pure ‘splatter’), this multi-layered series digs deeper into the souls of the characters and becomes a study of human behaviour, loneliness and the need for human connections.

It might be slightly overstretched as a ten part series, but it will certainly make everyone think twice before they start having a row with the next stranger who just pulled out his or her car in front of them.

Beef is streaming on Netflix right now.

Andrea Carnevali is a Bafta winning film maker who lives in Chiswick, and a co-creator of the Chiswick In Film festival.

See all Andrea’s film reviews here: Film reviews by Andrea Carnevali

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