Wolf movie poster
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Wolf
Wolf movie poster

Wolf Movie Review

In Wolf, a young man who is clearly a man but thinks he is a wolf is admitted to a facility to treat people who think they are animals, where he becomes sexually attracted to a woman who is clearly a woman but thinks she is a panther. Among the questions posed: will cross-species sex ensue?

An alluring drama that frustratingly doesn’t really go anywhere, Wolf stars George MacKay (1917), who is good I guess at staring blankly, growling like an animal, and largely looking confused as to why he is in this particular movie. His antithesis is Paddy Considine, the facility’s “Zookeeper,” who spends his time annoyed at the individuals in his care because they’d rather eat dog food than a nice juicy cheeseburger or something.

The concept of Wolf intrigued me, and for a time the movie, written and directed by Nathalie Biancheri, held my attention. But when all is said and done, what was the point of the movie? The story lacked inertia, the character development (or psychological repair) largely nonexistent. It’s certainly not strange like The Lobster (where single people try to find a match before being turned into an actual animal or their choosing), but as a psychological drama there appears to be very little interest in the psychology at play. These people clearly have mental disorders, but Wolf’s message appears to be “they can’t or won’t change, so why bother?” Considine’s character is designed to be the villain, but I ended up sympathizing with his position more than MacKay’s, who stubbornly refuses help. Had his character been developed further—what is the trauma that caused him to believe he is a wolf? How does this thinking protect him from reality?—I may have connected with him (or any of the other human-animals) more, or at all.

Biancheri aims for something else entirely, but what we get is a disappointing drama where answers, and even the questions, remain elusive. No howling praise for this one.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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