A CURZON FILM
Screening exclusively in cinemas and Curzon Home Cinema as part of Curzon Home Cinema Presents….
Spanish filmmaker Rodrigo Sorogoyen cements his reputation as one of contemporary European cinema’s specialists in suspense with his hugely accomplished fourth feature. Based on real-life events, Denis Ménochet and Marina Foïs play a married couple whose dream of moving to the countryside gradually turns into a living nightmare.
Antione and Olga have moved to a small village in Galicia, in Spain’s northwest. They support themselves by growing and selling their own vegetables, and in their spare time repair and refurbish abandoned cottages in the neighbourhood. It’s a quiet and peaceful existence. At least it was, until the neighbourhood are approached by Norwegian developers who are willing to pay out the residents of the neighbourhood to build a wind farm on their property. Antione and Olga are the only residents who voted against the development, much to the annoyance of two local brothers, who have grown piqued by the couple’s presence in the community. It’s an opportunity that many locals would benefit from financially. But it doesn’t fit with Antoine and Olga’s vision of their perfect country life. From this disagreement, tensions and tempers rise, pushing the situation to the point of no return.
Sorogoyen’s films articulately explore the relationship between masculinity and violence. In that vein, The Beasts could have easily followed in the tradition of John Boorman’s Deliverance, Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs and Ole Bornedal’s Deliver Us From Evil, revealing the ugliness that exists beneath the thin veneer of societal respectability. But Sorogoyen’s film is more interested in contrasting the way men and women navigate powder-keg situations – where some perceive violence as the only option, while others seek avenues to diffuse rather than exacerbate conflict. The filmmaker, working in tandem with Ménochet and Foïs, who deliver superb performances as the besieged couple, successfully draws immense power from the escalating situation. Monsters exist in the world, the film informs us. And they may reside closer to our homes than we might care to imagine.