Based on Emma Jane Unsworth’s 2014 novel of the same name, Animals chronicles the antics of party-obsessed best friends Laura (Holliday Grainger) and Tyler (Alia Shawkat). The two have been enjoying their fair share of debauchery in Dublin for more than a decade. However, new friends, lovers, and their looming 30s bring a halt to their adventures, questioning the strength of their friendship.
Best friends Laura (Holliday Grainger) and Tyler (Alia Shawkat) are inseparable. Although both have entered their thirties, the two refuse to settle down and remain getting tangled with debauchery we often associate with early twenty-somethings. It's honestly incredible how many adventures the film shows the two having within its near two-hour run - most of which involve their signature glasses of white wine and questionable jars of bath salts.
Happy-go-lucky American expat Tyler is seemingly content with their midlife wanderings. Laura, however, has to confront more significant hiccups in her crossroad. The aspiring writer faces growing comments of dismay from her loved ones after she reveals her decade in the making novel is still at its early stages.
While a whirlwind romance with professional pianist Jim initially provides her with the stability she craves, his intense dedication to his craft further made her aware of her shortcomings. Jim eventually embodies an antithesis to Laura's boozy lifestyle. Although he is by no means puritanical, Jim quits alcohol for his craft; further heightening Tyler's dissatisfaction with the new 'third wheel' to their long-term friendship. Suddenly, Laura finds herself questioning the non-stop party lifestyle with Tyler.
In a cinematic landscape that is currently experiencing a surge of teenage coming-of-age tales, director Sophie Hyde brings another side to the story: the 'coming-of-age' as you delve into your thirties. The film fiercely portrays the heartache and complexities of female friendships; relationships which extend beyond family, bonds which, due to the inevitability of growing up and growing apart, can hurt more than romantic break-ups.
Cast choice- Turn Up (8/10)
Shawkat and Grainger have seamless and natural chemistry.
Acting- Turn Up (8/10)
It’s refreshing to see Grainger away from her usual period-dramas and using the film’s comedic moments to her advantage.
Script- Turn Up(7/10)
Hyde creates an authentic and refreshing portrayal of the female millennial experience on screen. However, while initially establishing itself as an exploration of the two main characters, the film eventually hones its attention to Laura - leaving us questioning Tyler's future and background.
Overall rating: 7/10
Would we watch again?
Although revolving around a seemingly crumbling friendship, Animals is a fun film to watch with friends - perhaps you and your best friend will see yourself in the two leads. However, it's unlikely you'd be eager to rewatch the film right after the credits roll. The countless hazy montages of the characters drinking and doing drugs will give you some sort of second-hand hangover.
Turn-ups and turn-downs?
Turn up reviews recommend you TURN UP to see this movie. So grab some popcorn and maybe bring some friends along with you.
So should you TURN UP to see this movie or TURN DOWN an invite?
Review by Graciela Mae