Only the Animals: Film Review

Only the Animals

If you want an enthralling murder mystery to capture your attention during this lockdown period, I suggest Only the Animals, an intriguing and unexpected French thriller.

Only the Animals revolves around the mysterious disappearance of Evelyne Ducat (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi) in a remote French farming community on the night of a nasty snowstorm. The film is told in chapters from different characters’ perspectives and starts off local, with the story focussing on Alice (Laure Calamy), her husband Michel (Denis Menochet), and her lover Joseph (Damien Bonnard), but soon expands into a global tale, with Marion (Nadia Tereszkiewicz) and Armand (Guy Roger ‘Bibisse’ N’Drin) coming into the mix.

This mystery was well-written and structured, as each chapter added context, new details, and another layer to the previous one, helping us piece the puzzle together a little bit more every time. This narrative device made the mystery all the more intriguing because I was keen to fill in the blanks and have a clearer idea of the bigger picture and I was captured by how the mystery unravelled and the various timelines connected in unexpected (and contrived and ridiculous) ways.

I hardly ever say this about films but I wanted this to be a little longer. Time flew by as I watched each chapter unfold and while the main mystery is resolved, I would have liked an epilogue to explain what happened to certain characters as the majority of their chapters end without a proper conclusion. I was expecting them to be revisited at the end of the film to tie it all up but nope, their fate remains unknown.

Although Menochet is billed as the star of the show, he is barely in it much in the first half, although he plays a pivotal and touching role in the second half, where he really shines. My favourite chapter was Marion’s because that storyline was unexpected, thrilling and I would have liked more of it, while my least favourite was Armand’s because it went on far too long and really brought the pace down.

Only the Animals is an intriguing French thriller that is definitely worth checking out.

Available on Curzon Home Cinema from Friday 29th May

Rating: 4/5

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: