Espèces menacées [Endangered Species] (2017)

Espèces menacées
Director: Gilles Bourdos
Writer: Michel Spinosa, Gilles Bourdos
Based on: Richard Bausch‘s short stories
Cast: Alice IsaazVincent RottiersGrégory GadeboisSuzanne ClémentEric ElmosninoAlice de LencquesaingDamien ChapelleBrigitte CatillonFrédéric Pierrot
Seen on: 17.9.2017

Joséphine (Alice Isaaz) and Tomasz (Vincent Rottiers) just got married and things should be all rosy happiness, but Tomasz has a mean streak and Joséphine has to take a lot of care not to set him off.
Meanwhile Melanie (Alice de Lencquesaing) has some big news to tell her father Vincent (Eric Elmosnino) but their relationship is difficult and their talk uncovers more and more gaps in their knowledge of each other.
Anthony (Damien Chapelle) looks for love in all the wrong places, but is more preoccupied with his mentally ill mother Nicole (Brigitte Catillon) to really focus on that.

Endangered Species pulled me in and kept me glued to the screen throughout, although I wasn’t quite as happy with the endings to the segment as with the rest of the film.

Endangered Species tells three stories that are loosely connected, though never really interlock. It focuses most on Joséphine and Tomasz, and with them Joséphine’s father Joseph (Grégory Gadebois), and that definitely was the strongest segment that digs into the psychology of abusive relationships with a sure hand.

Compared to that, the segment of Melanie and her father Vincent feels a little flat, but not uninteresting and still managed to engage me. The last segment, though, tries so hard to make me feel pity for Anthony, the poor nerd who’s just trying, but since the way he’s trying boils down to sexual harrassment, it found no pity with me.

All three segments focus on the men in the end, and I think all three would have been improved if they had shifted the attention to the women instead. It’s their stories that were told after all. Maybe that was part of why the ending(s) left such a bitter aftertaste in my mouth. Mostly though that bitterness came from the fact that they cleared up less than it appeared at first glanced.

Nevertheless, the film has something (a great cast and perfect cinematography for one) and manages to create a suffocating atmosphere that doesn’t let you escape very easily.

Summarizing: Not perfect, but good.

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