There’s something lurking through the pass on the other side of the mountains. Who, or what, is it? This is the mystery that you may or may not solve if you choose to venture “Beyond Here”, a most unconventional and arresting independent production from the Czech Republic.
Basile and Lea are a young couple on the run in the high country wilderness. From and to what is never made entirely clear. But the sense of urgency is palpable, much more so for him than for her. They come upon an abandoned house and take refuge. About half way through the film enters an enigmatic drifter name Marcus. At first skeptical and afraid, the pair gradually accept this crusty coon into their transitory home.
It is at this point that the tenor of the story changes. I am nobody’s shrink, but I’ll take a shot at what I perceived began to happen. Writer/Director Hugo Bousquet seems to introduce Marcus as a challenge, both physical and symbolic, to Basile’s masculinity as well as his emotional stability. Ultimately I saw this as Basile’s personal battle with his male identity and his mental health.
The imagery and music in “Beyond Here” are of the highest order. Cinematographer Fiona Braillon consistently captures spectacularly spellbinding images of a rocky terrain, presenting the remote natural setting as at once beautiful and brutal. The tandem of Goulven Derrien and Joris Vidal score a sonic underbed saturated in the haunting, unsettling and ominous. The masterful and moody electric guitar work of Yohan Roudy especially pierces.
If you need to have your movie’s tied up in a neat little bow at the end, stay away from “Beyond Here”. But if you’re at all capable of interpreting that which you can only hear but can not see, this contemplatively trippy conclusion will very likely resonate as more cathartic than confounding.
Or, as in the case of this critic, it’ll be a bit of both.