Netflix and Trill: Beasts of No Nation
Trill or Not Trill?
(Minor spoilers ahead.)
There’s so much more to Netflix than the chilling that people are seeking. I wanted to take this moment and start using our favorite entertainment viewing service for good. Introducing Netflix and Trill. Instead of chilling, we’re going to talk about some leadership. The first film to get tackled will be Beasts of No Nation directed by Cary Fukunaga.
This is not your traditional Netflix film. Beasts of No Nation was simultaneously released in theaters and on their at home viewing platform. It was dark film about a war torn African country that had me from the start. Leadership was found throughout from various areas. 3 characters in particular stood out for me with some exceptional acting.
The nameless wonder only known as Commandant and played by Idris Elba was truly a charismatic leader from jump. Charismatic leaders will make you believe in the dream. They are they inspirational types that can easily motivate with their words. Commandant did precisely that. On first sight, Idris was looking more like Major Lazer than a dynamic commander. The boys who he’s in charge of believe in him. War crimes and violence seemed almost tolerable at times. He’s comedic and frightening all in one breath. He’s part father figure and part dictator. His young soldiers would anything for him. The problem with charismatic leaders is that they sometimes are blinded by their own passion. When things don’t go as planned, Commandant deviates from the plan to assure he remains in power. He also displays many traits of autocratic leadership. It is his way or the highway till the very end. The autocratic leader isn’t looking for opinions or feedback, they want their tasks to be completed. Commandant fit that description all the way through. He was the jungle killer vision of Miranda Priestly (he was a bit nicer).
Authentic leaders typically are aware of self aware and possesses a great deal of insight. Young Agu played masterfully by Abraham Attah had those characteristics. As the only survivor from the slaughter of the men in his family, his survival was based on luck and later, the ability to recognize what he was dealing with in the Commandant. Before ever reaching the jungles and becoming a warrior, we see Agu, a young imaginative entrepreneur. You loved this kid and felt sorry for him throughout the entire film. His youth was ripped away but Agu never stopped being leader. In true authentic leader fashion, he overcame weakness and grew, despite the constant thoughts of his missing mother. Things went zero to a hundred real quick and he became part of the violent movements. He wasn’t passive but instead adapted and learned how to kill. Even when things slowed down, there is this one scene where Agu warns another young child about going back. It was a powerful sign of leadership. He recognized the importance of staying in a safer space and spoke up for the best. Agu is my hero.
In reference to leadership typologies, the young Strika has the makings of a invisible leader. The invisible leader isn’t often in the forefront but always shines. It’s clear that this young mute warrior, holds weight. We aren’t ever truly introduced to how he rose through the ranks but we do see his leadership skills first hand. This was a performance that nearly stole the film. Without ever uttering a word, Strika was firm and compassionate. He flexed his muscle early as he worked with and trained his new soldier compatriot. The invisible leader is a necessary part of any team. They lack the ego that can disrupt camaraderie. Strika stands by Agu’s side, when it seemed like many other were not. The young boys acted like men throughout but their innocence made some cameo appearances. These boyhood moments were both powerful and heartbreaking.
According to Netflix, the film has been streamed more than 3 million times. This was
One true sign of leadership is the act of changing the norm. The idea of disruptive innovation means disrupting an existing market and inserting your sometimes revolutionary idea. Netflix’s changed the home video game and killed Blockbuster. They then tried their hand at original television content and left us with such gems like Orange is the New Black, Daredevil, and Narcos. Not to mention, they are the owners of, what I believe to be the King Kong of TV in House of Cards. Netflix’s next move was original film distribution. According to their CEO, Beasts of No Nation had over 3 million views in North America in its first 10 days. In addition to these strong streaming numbers, Beasts of No Nation, is also now eligible for Academy Award nominations with it’s theatrical release. TRILL. Leaders should always be thinking about the concept of disruptive innovation. This mentality pushes you to creating at the highest level. It keeps your constituents excited and your ideas fresh. This type of leader enjoys the success but is happier to see the impact they’ve had on their market and their followers.
TRILL OR NOT TRILL?
My vote is: TRILL
This is a must see. I watched it on Netflix and am tempted to catch again on the big screen. Idris Elba was at his best and his young co stars were the best part of the film. Director Cary Fukunaga brought back some of the darkness he displayed in the incredible first season of
What Netflix film or show should we watch next?