Beast of Burden (2018)

beastofburden

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Daniel Radcliffe goes on a literal life changing journey in this thriller from director Jesper Ganslandt.

Sean Haggerty is a pilot who to make sure his wife is safe, works for a drug cartel and must deliver a package. However, he also has in his possession a laptop with vital information pertaining to the cartel that he must deliver to the DEA in exchange for witness protection. Sean soon finds his complicated world become even worse when he learns that his wife has been kidnapped by the cartel to ensure his delivery of the drugs. Sean must ensure everyone involved on this fateful night that everything will work out, but will he be able to convince even himself?

This indie drama from director Jesper Ganslandt revolves around a complicated man in perhaps one of the most complicated situations he ever faced. The film’s idea of a man who finds himself torn between a drug cartel and the DEA is quite appealing but whereas the story usually takes place over the course of days, months, and years, this film takes the ingenious idea of setting the film within an hour. Another idea that proves to be interesting is to set our lead character in the cockpit of a Cessna.

Daniel Radcliffe, continuing his post-Harry Potter career, plays the embittered and embattled Sean, our titular “beast of burden” who finds himself having to make a choice while attempting to keep his marriage intact. Most of the film sees Radcliffe inside the cockpit of the Cessna, juggling phone calls between the drug cartel who hire him to deliver a shipment, the DEA agent who promises him witness protection if he delivers a laptop with vital information on said cartel, and his wife, who feels a bit embittered herself because of her husband’s job.

While Radcliffe is the primary focus of the film, there are beats of cut scenes involving Grace Gummer (Meryl Streep’s daughter) and Pablo Schreiber as Sean’s wife and the DEA agent. They make the most of what they work with as they are just part of what complications that plague Sean. The film does make use of some good flashbacks in terms of the events that lead up to this fateful night for this young man. The final ten minutes of the film bring everything together and leads to a pretty shocking conclusion that makes the wait worth it.

Beast of Burden is a pretty good vehicle for Daniel Radcliffe. While some may find it boring to see him for most of the movie in the cockpit of a plane, the use of quick flashbacks and Radcliffe’s performance make this worth a watch.

WFG RATING: B

Momentum Pictures presents a Lotus Entertainment/Paul Schiff Productions/Aloe Entertainment/MGMT Entertainment/WYSJ Media Coastal Film Studios production in association with Aperture Media Partners and Peak Distribution Partners. Director: Jesper Ganslandt. Producers: Paul Schiff, Mary Aloe, Michael Diamond, Jake Shapiro, and Dan Reardon. Writer: Adam Hoelzel. Cinematography: Michael Barrett. Editing: Sherwood Jones.

Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Grace Fummer, Pablo Schreiber, Robert Wisdom, Cesar Perez, David Joseph Martinez.

Momentum Pictures will release this film in select theaters, VOD, and Digital HD on February 23.

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