“Alpha”: A journey with man’s best friend

It is a screenshot from the movie trailer of “Alpha”. Photo Credit: Mauricio Rodriguez

By Mauricio Rodriguez ’19

Set during the time of hunters and gatherers, a young boy named Keda, played by Kodi Smit-McPhee,  sets on a journey through various climates and landscapes to find his way back to his tribe and his family. Along the way, Keda befriends a wounded wolf that she names Alpha, who was left by her pack. Throughout their adventure, the audience will get to see the growing relationship that both wolf and man share as they travel towards Keda’s home.

While the movie’s plot was very enjoyable, one of the factors that made this film stand out was its amazing shots of nature’s scenery. This movie captures the ever changing climate that both Keda and Alpha deal with. For example, in one scene, Keda is looking up at the sky, and the audience is able to get a glimpse of the beautiful stars and colors that appear during the night. It is as if looking into deep space. Another breathtaking shot was the transition between warm climate to a more frigid weather. The way this was captured was by taking an extreme close up of a snowflake beginning to form. The shot taken for this scene was amazing because you get a microscopic view of the icy particles taking form.  

Another interesting factor of the movie is the plot. While the movie suggests that the plot of this movie is about man and animal bonding closer together, the actual story is more complex. It is about a young man trying to survive with his new companion in the unforgiving environment. The plot of the movie progressed fairly quick but it was still entertaining to watch the events unfold. Also, while the action scenes do not contain traditional explosions, the action scenes are more realistic as it is what actual hunters and gatherers have gone through.  Another enjoying feature is the fact that there is no real antagonist rather obstacles. The only danger Keda and Alpha had to face was the environment and the other animals roaming the area.

Finally, the most amazing part to watch from this movie is Keda’s and Alpha’s growing relationship. Despite meeting as enemies at first, the audience will love to see how their relationship evolves overtime from enemies to actual friends. In this film, you slowly get to see Keda and Alpha gaining each other’s trust, but it is after they do where the adventure begins. People will be rooting and crying as they see Alpha protect the only family she has left, which is Keda.

While I enjoyed this movie, a critic named Dennis Schwartz from Rotten Tomatoes stated that the plot of the film was “slow pacing.” While some parts were indeed slow pacing, it was essential for the film to slow down the events, so the audience can see the slow progressing relationship Keda builds with Alpha.

  • Directed by Albert E. Hughes
  • Running time is 97 minutes
  • Genre is action, adventure, and drama