For Reel

Roar (1981)
December 11, 2016, 8:18 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Noel Marshall
5 Stars
roarIt has become increasingly uncommon to see something in a film that one can genuinely say they’ve never seen before. As computerized special effects have become more seamlessly integrated into filmmaking, grandiose spectacles have become the norm. Watching Roar, then, is a humbling experience for the viewer. It is immediate and fascinating at every turn. If, in any given movie, one can predict how an actor might perform a scene or how a filmmaker might block a sequence involving an animal, Roar is something else entirely. The pace and sense of danger in the film is dependent entirely on the whims of sometimes indifferent, sometimes threateningly curious beasts. That the film argues for harmony between man and big cat is about as convincing as director Noel Marshall’s insistence that everything is okay when he’s on screen—one is hardly in a position to announce that their cast and crew is safe when they’ve just been tackled by a lion. If Roar is sometimes incomprehensible as a narrative—the sense of space is often confusing due to how much editing was necessary to get the animals to behave as needed—it is downright Herzogian in the way that it documents one man’s attempt and ultimate failure to tame the frenzy of nature.

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