Hundreds of Beavers

Hundreds of Beavers
Hundreds of Beavers

Movie Details

Hundreds of Beavers
Director-Mike Cheslik
Cast-Ryland Brickson Cole TewsOlivia GravesWes Tank
Movie type- Comedy/Action
Producer-Mike Cheslik
Release date- 26 th February 2024
IMDB Rating-7.9
Languages- English
Duration-1 Hour 48 Minutes



The time of the action is unspecified, although everything points to the beginning of the 19th century – a period in the history of the United States marked by the achievements of settlement pioneers. The main character of the film – a certain Jean Kayak, seems to have everything that the pioneer needs to be happy: his own tavern, frequented by local trappers, and an orchard that allows him to produce hectoliters of cider. However, cunning beavers bring it to ruin by gnawing through the wooden foundations of giant barrels of sweet alcohol. With no support, the barrels roll straight into the hero’s hut, slapstick style. Nothing can be done. Everything is burning, exploding, a disaster is happening before our eyes. Suddenly winter comes, and Kayak, deprived of his home, orchard and source of income, must fight for survival. This means: undergo a slow transformation into a perfect trapper.

Of course, the main point of reference is inHundreds of beaversslapstick – and this is from Buster Keaton, not Charlie Chaplin (although Nowadays remains an important point of reference in the finale). Extremely physical, preferring acrobatics and gag intensity at the expense of psychological depth. Keaton didn’t need words – he always tried to use as few intertitles as possible between shots. He considered them an unnecessary narrative device, distracting the viewer from the presented world. Cheslik proudly continues this tradition. In contrast to other contemporary silent films – such asArtistWhetherCall of Cthulhu- creatorHundreds of beaversalmost no text boards are used. He focuses on movement and conveys key information through expressive gestures and grimaces. This brings the convention of his film closer to a cartoon.Hundreds of beaversIt is not without reason that they are advertised by the Polish distributor as an actor’s answer toCrazy melodies. The hero’s fights with the titular animals are reminiscent of the fights between Coyote and Road Runner or the hunter Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny. There is the same kind of heroic perseverance in them, the comedy arises from repetitions, dozens of attempts ending in spectacular failure. The difference is that Kayak – unlike Coyote and Elmer – is not doomed to failure.

The experience gained results in more hunted beavers. Traps and tools purchased at a nearby store make the task easier and work much better than the equipment used by Ostrich the Road Runner’s archenemy. At this point, Cheslik uses the aesthetics of video games, transferring gameplay elements (visits to the store, discovering the minimap, completing quests) to the film medium.

It is not done seamlessly, and the effect can be slightly (sometimes more than slightly) irritating, but the effort is worth appreciating. In interviews given together with Ryland Brickson, Cole Tews, co-writer and star of the main role, the director claims that their greatest inspiration in this matter wasSuper Mario Galaxy 2– Tews’ favorite childhood game. For me, however, as a person raised in the first and second decade of the 21st century,Hundreds of beaversare irrevocably associated withMinecraft. And it’s not only about the purely survival gameplay model, but also about the history of the production. Cheslik’s film, like Mojang’s game, is the result of the work of a small group of enthusiasts – largely the director’s friends from high school, college and other stages of education. A completely independent project, or perhaps differently: dependent less on money and more on the perseverance and commitment of people who devoted their free time to wallowing in front of the camera in plush animal costumes.

AlthoughHundreds of beaverscost – approximately – six sticks and five pine cones, they look better and more interesting than many productions made for millions of dollars. Cheslik skillfully uses the greatest achievement of film art, i.e. depth of field (André Bazin’s idea is ever-living). If the progenitors of comedy are…Hundreds of beaversBuster Keaton and Chuck Jones, Jacques Tati seems to be the formal progenitor, next to the irreplaceable Méliès .

The traces of the creator (and performer) of the legendary Mr. Hulot can be traced here without much difficulty: just look carefully at the multi-plan compositions and decipher additional portions of humor hidden deep inside the frames.Hundreds of beaversthey make the greatest impression visually. Cheslick and his team restore the belief that to make a fascinating film, all you need is a dozen or so dollars and a few dozen enthusiasts, including at least one with knowledge of the basic functions of Adobe After Effects.

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