Alpha Movie Review: A Spectacular New Take on the Oldest Tale of a Boy and His Dog

Alpha Movie Review: A Spectacular New Take on the Oldest Tale of a Boy and His Dog

Planning to watch Alpha this weekend? Read our review first.

Shantanu David
  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: August 25, 2018, 4:47 PM IST
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Director: Albert Hughes

Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Leonor Varela, and Jens Hultén

There was a boy and his dog: it's a line that has perpetuated myth and memory, story and soliloquy, fact and fiction. Alpha then examines the origin of that line.

Set 20,000 years ago, when bison was an actual living animal which inundated the North American plains, Keda (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is the runt of a litter of hunter-gatherers who seek sustenance on the frigid North American continent (or what it now is).

In true Ice Age fashion, Keda gets separated from his pack and stumbled on to some wolves. And in true Ice Age fashion the wolves don't eat the clearly bony Keda but tolerate him (a lesson many sects and polities in India might do well to learn).

Eventually, a regal female wolf falls for the lack of charm of the human and sort of adopts him, as one would a dying bird. In the sheer hubris of a human lost in the wild, Keda names her so as to assume onus. Thus, Alpha. Take note ladies.

We so so so wish James Cameron had made this film instead of that absurdity featuring blue hued tree hugging aliens all of whose tails were definitely not PG. Because it's not just the permafrost that glitters in Alpha, it's the entire paleolithic setting.

The CGI is obvious, not obscene. There's evident animation, as justifies a story set 20 millennia again, but it doesn't stretch the imagination of the uninitiated nor the smugness of a person with a Netflix subscription who watches Neil deGrasse Tyson. It's an imagining of a life that was or may have been, instead of a life that would look awesome on IMAX.

Ultimately it's about a huntsman and a wolf, and the boy and dog they would lead to. Watch it for them. Watch it for you. Watch it.

Rating: 4

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