Laure has a daunting task, to lighten up this prison, she is aware of her arena and hence won’t waste her time on the firecrackers.
Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, the director, has a robust attitude. Not towards her film but her characters. Brimmed with empathy, the pull back of these characters from our lobby where we root for them, is perpetually poetic. For, set in a prison, the characters are often questionable. They come under the “everyone deserves a second chance” category, which Laure does make it clear as each of them confesses about the duration of their crime and the bitter aftermath that they have been tasting since then. Now, these characters, as anyone would do, blend in with us. As all of them gets to show a softer, a more adaptable, side of theirs. But this is what’s fascinating about Laure’s film.
As soon as you are ready to accept them, she pushes them away from you by either revealing another inedible information about them, or ordering them to walk on some horrible passage. And she does it brilliantly. Since, as mentioned before, these characters reap questions on their personalities long before the film even starts, the expression of drawing them to the darker side, isn’t loud, but just a little push. So nuanced and warm is her touch on these characters, that the storytelling itself gets lost into them.
As far as plot is concerned, it is basically the same, getting over your past through changing the present for the future generations, sort of thing. But what’s captivating along with the cast’s performance is the behavior of these characters. As a wild animal, they are portrayed, and hunt and prey, they do. Metaphor for our host Roman’s (Matthias Schoenaerts) loved ones, the horse doesn’t get that much to do individually and instead walks through the montages of bridging with its master and helping him cross the bridge, with a title The Mustang.