• Guillermo Francella, in Armando Bo's "Animal" (Supplied)Source: Supplied
The propulsive psychological thriller marks Bo’s first feature as a director after co-writing ‘Birdman.’
Variety, John Hopewell

29 Mar 2018 - 10:29 AM  UPDATED 29 Mar 2018 - 10:29 AM

Written by Bo and his partner Nicolas Giacobone, the Oscar-winning writing team behind Alejandro G. Inarritu's Birdman, psychological thriller Animal stars Guillermo Francella, the principled alcoholic of The Secret in Their Eyes and cold blue-eyed evil-incarnate patriarch of The Clan.

Variety received exclusive access to its international version which will be released in Argentina this May.

Francella appears in almost every scene save for two of Carla Peterson, star of this year's Argentine smash hit, Ten Days Without Mom, his wife in the film, driving a car and in cutaway reaction.

Francella plays a man who has played by the rules, and achieved everything: a beautiful wife, a good job and future. Part of that everything - a luxurious seaside-facing trophy house - seems to be shown in the film. But then he's faced by a life or death situation - the trailer shows him collapsing - which means that his life depends on a homeless couple and he has to trust to animal instinct if he has any chance to survive. Hence the film's title.

Inevitably, perhaps, the man's life spins out of control.

"Who sold us the idea we have control over life?" Francella's character asks in the film."F*** the rules."

Which is when the movie's full-on propulsive action kicks in, at least in the trailer with Francella in a race, it seems, against death.

The film was shot and set in Mar del Plata, whose monumental NH Gran Hotel Provincial is seen in the background of one shot. The iconic seaside location for Argentine families, a glamorous watering hole in the past, Mar del Plata's slightly faded placid glory forms an ironic contrast in the trailer to frenetic scenes as Francella battles for his survival.

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