American Honey

American Honey ★★★½

After leaving her abusive household, a young girl chooses an indefinite itinerary to explore herself, experience life with new acquaintances on the road that leads to…nowhere

It was my mom's idea. She said we're all made from stars. From Death Stars.

She appears…a real vivacious, energetic and zealous "Star" that sparkles luminously from her very first scene. Rising and shifting from one place to the next through the fresh scope of an impoverished vitality. Staggering near the edge with nothing to lose, characters freely throw themselves along the expansive wilderness, moving headfirst only to crash into the lane of booze, drugs, rap, love and life. Stop and eyed-wide staring at the newly unfamiliar cities. Days spread ahead as cars are rolling on a direction line that has no end. Teenagers try living to the fullest, day-to-day knocking on doors just to sell those cheap and useless magazine subscriptions. Booming music’s (superbly varied from hip-hop to country) growing louder across the surface, at night, bodies staying in flocks as sickly cigarette smoke fills up the air and sex that is mistaken for love. Disruptive and destructive, no one really knows what tomorrow will bring…

Andrea Arnold fully exploits the angles of each person’s faces, bringing them up close in tight focus amid the broad, empty landscape. Robbie Ryan’s photography is sensitively shot: sceneries are bathed under sunny glows of daylight and pleasant “nectar”, exquisitely rubbing against some rough realities these young people are facing. It is yet another overlong ramblings, structure-less “road-trip” storytelling technique that’s surprisingly sweetless, exasperating and exciting. Still, one can see love through this hopeless experience while treading tirelessly from miles away. Sprawling and immersive, this is a self-discovery journey, full of desires and determination striving towards smashingly shattered moments which lie ahead. American Honey is a dusty and infuriating look at the carelessness of youth, where they’re nonchalantly stripped naked and laid bare on the scorching crossroads of American dreams.

Ooo there's a wild, wild whisper
Blowin' in the wind
Callin' out my name like a long lost friend
Oh I miss those days as the years go by
Oh nothin's sweeter than summertime
And American honey
And American honey

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