While it pushes us to reconsider what we think when we hear ‘Alpha’, there is another story in the heart of the movie. It is about the beginning of a beautiful friendship, one of the few things that have lasted 20,000 years later: between man and dog.
Alpha movie cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson
Alpha movie director: Albert Hughes
Alpha movie ratings: 3.5 stars
Christine Schreyer, associate professor of anthropology, took two years to reconstruct the new language spoken by the characters in this film, which takes place somewhere in the European region during the Ice Age.
And that’s not even the most remarkable thing about Alpha. It’s how the movies unfold, slowly and gradually, first appearing alarmingly like a Hollywood extravaganza, then a simple fairy tale, before completely reversing the idea of what the term ‘alpha’ has come to mean, especially now, in a world increasingly led by ultra-masculine men who invoke an ultra-muscular authority.
Alpha has two heroes: one is a skinny boy entering adolescence, almost of feminine appearance, who has to step on the big shoes of hunter and collector of his father, the head of his tribe; and the second, a wolf, who attacks him, and who, according to the laws of nature, must kill but decides to save.
The boy named Keda (Smit-McPhee) has already earned several frowning looks from his tribal members for instincts like those above. This invites him to repeated exhortations, albeit with love, of Father Tau (Jóhannesson) on leadership, honor, courage, strength and other similar things, delivered during the night around the fires of the jungle. And then Keda falls off a cliff during a hunt, is left for dead and must return home, literally, when winter approaches.
Wounded and hungry, it is in this condition that Keda knows the wolf. Stabbed by Keda in an attempt to save himself, the wolf is also bleeding and hungry. And they tentatively create a friendship, in a sequence that the film projects beautifully: from a cave, into a lake, through the wide expanse of a landscape, through shared food and water, and then through joint hunting. Keda calls the wolf ‘Alpha’.
A lot of this is, of course, CGI. But the director of photography Martin Gschlacht presents landscapes and images so impressive (especially one of Keda and Alpha in a frozen lake, separated by the ice sheet), in 3D, which is willing to see beyond the parts where the CGI is dazzling.
Also, while it pushes us to reconsider what we think when we listen to ‘Alpha full movie’, there is another story in the heart of the film. It is about the beginning of a beautiful friendship, one of the few things that have lasted 20,000 years later: between man and dog.