The Beasts Ending Explained & Plot Analysis

The Beasts – a film about human nature. The Beasts (2022): plot summary, film meaning, real story, ending explanation.

Country: Spain, France

Genre: thriller, drama

Year of production: 2022

Director: Rodrigo Sorogoyen

Actors: Marina Fois, Denis Menochet, Luis Saera, Diego Anido

Awards and nominations: in 2022, the film received the Cesar Award in the Best Foreign Film category. She also received the main prize at the San Sebastian International Film Festival.

Rodrigo Sorogoyen directed a slow and intense thriller-drama that received critical acclaim and was greatly enjoyed by audiences. The plot of the film The Beasts (As bestas) tells the story of a French couple. They moved from the city to a small Spanish village and experienced truly monstrous events…

The true story of Martin and Margot Verforden

In 2010, in a small village located in Spain, terrible and tragic events occurred that shocked the whole of Europe. Their participants were spouses Margo Poole and Martin Verfonden and members of the Rodriguez family.

Denis Menochet of the film The Beasts
Denis Menochet played the role of Antoine Denis. Still from the film The Beasts

The progressive Danes really wanted to develop a tourist destination here, but local residents did not really like this intention – in particular, they were frightened by possible innovations that would interfere with their usual way of life.

Due to disagreements, a serious conflict broke out, which, unfortunately, led to irreparable consequences. The movie The Beasts was based on this story, but all the names were changed. It is noteworthy that in 2016 a documentary film called “Santoalla” was released. It is completely dedicated to those tragic events.

What is the movie about

Brief description of the contents of the picture. Spain, countryside, present day. A married couple, Frenchmen Antoine and Olga Denis, move from the city to the village. They want not only to grow organic products themselves and sell them, but also to develop tourism.

The locals are not very happy with their presence and intentions, but things get worse when the foreigners refuse to sign the petition to install a wind farm. This “feint with the ears” especially infuriates two brothers – Ksan and Lorenzo Anta.

Soon the brothers begin their “vendetta.” At first they act on the sly and quietly play dirty tricks on strangers. The hostile behavior of the men frightens Olga, and Antoine reports this to the authorities. However, they just brush it off: if the foreigners have not shared something with the natives, then let them resolve the conflict themselves. Why not talk to the guys? Civilized people, after all!

Alas, dialogue does not work out – the brothers behave aggressively and do not make contact. Then Antoine decides to collect evidence that they are harming him and Olga, and begins to slowly film their neighbors. However, Xan and Lorenzo soon notice this and the conflict worsens.

Olga wants to leave the village, but this is not yet possible: in order to somehow compensate for the losses, they need to wait for the harvest, and this will happen only in a year. The situation is heating up to the limit and now it becomes clear to everyone that this is not so much about a wind power plant, but about the very fact of the presence of citizens and foreigners on “foreign” land.

Marina Fois of the film The Beasts
The role of Olga Den was played by Marina Fois. Still from the film The Beasts

One day, Antoine goes for a walk with his dog, and his brothers chase him. Realizing that he won’t be able to escape the fight, he turns on the camera and hides it in the clearing. He has to confront two healthy and strong men at once, and he loses the fight – his brothers kill him.

A year has passed since those events. No one ever investigated Antoine’s disappearance. Olga continues to live on the farm and do business, and devotes her free time to searching for her husband’s body and evidence of the guilt of Xan and Lorenzo. One day, her and Antoine’s daughter Marie comes to visit Olga from France.

The girl is worried that her mother lives next to the alleged killers. She is sure: her father will not be returned, it is impossible to prove anything to anyone in this wilderness. This means we need to leave the battlefield and move closer to civilization.

Olga categorically refuses – she wants justice to prevail and her husband’s killers to receive the punishment they deserve. She hands over to the authorities the recordings taken by Antoine, but, according to the police, they do not prove anything – in their opinion, they only capture a domestic conflict and nothing more.

Marie does not understand how one can live in this God-forsaken place. Every day is given to her with great difficulty, and one day, faced with the advances of one of the local guys, she gets seriously scared and decides to leave.

Having seen off her daughter, Olga is left alone again. She continues to work on the farm and often walks in the forest. One day in the forest, she finds Antoine’s broken camera and turns it over to the authorities. They are skeptical about the find – the camera is damaged, it is impossible to extract information from it and, accordingly, nothing can be proven. However, one of the employees assures the woman that “the camera is a great find.”

The Beasts Ending explained

Explanation of the ending of the picture. At the end of the film, Olga comes to Xan and Lorenzo. She wants to talk to the brothers’ mother, but Xan insists: let her talk to him first.

Then Olga tells it like it is – she and her brother will soon be imprisoned. “For what? It’s not our fault,” Lorenzo is perplexed. Olga addresses the brothers’ mother directly: her sons killed her husband and will soon be imprisoned. This means that there will be no one else to help her.

“What do we do?” she asks. The old woman thinks seriously, and Olga goes home and returns to her business.

Soon the police find Antoine’s body, and Olga goes for identification. As the car passes the brothers’ house, their mother comes out onto the road. Both women make eye contact and the film ends there. The meaning of the ending of the film The Beasts is unclear, but it can be assumed that after the killer is identified, he will still be punished.

The meaning of the film The Beasts

According to many viewers who analyzed the film The Beasts (the original title of the film is “As bestas”, translated from Spanish as “Like Animals”), Rodrigo Sorogoyen made a very worthy film. This is, of course, more of an action-packed psychological drama than a tense thriller, but the atmosphere here is very dark and disturbing. Without slipping into cliches, slowly revealing the main idea, developing it not in breadth, but in depth, the director managed to build a strong dramaturgy that literally “shoots” in the finale.

At the center of the plot of The Beasts is the conflict between a local Galician family and the visiting French, who refused to vote for the installation of a wind power plant – that is, they deprived their neighbors of the opportunity to receive the money that the company gave for the purchase of land and to get out of hopeless poverty.

Marie Colombe of the film The Beasts
Marie Colombe as Marie Denis. Still from the film The Beasts

This situation can be looked at in two ways: on the one hand, they went against the opinion of the majority of the indigenous people, showed persistence and courage in defending their interests (they had just bought land, and they needed it). On the other hand, they stuck their nose into someone else’s monastery with their charter. Thus began a monstrous conflict that could have been avoided.

Sorogoyen was partly helped to convey the entire psychologism of the situation by the emphasis on revealing the color of the scene: Spaniards, especially rural ones, have long disliked visitors, especially the French. They are ready to put up with their presence, but as soon as something goes wrong, the strangers will remember everything. This is what happens here too.

However, it would be foolish to reduce the meaning of history only to the conflict between neighbors. An ordinary local everyday story that escalated into a stabbing will never become iconic in all European cinema of recent years – but this film, judging by the abundance of awards and high ratings, has become so.

The essence of the film is to show the collision of two parallel existing civilizations and worldviews. On the one hand there are conventionally educated and respectable people, on the other – semi-wild and aggressive “natives”. Here you can see the hidden meaning: the director speaks on the topic of one of the basic fears of a modern highly developed society. It lies in the fact that the laboriously built “civilization” can be easily swept away by “savagery” at any moment. This issue was first thoroughly explored by Golding in the novel Lord of the Flies. This book left behind many questions – unfortunately, it is not possible to answer them yet…

Luis Saera of the film The Beasts
Luis Saera stars as Xan. Still from the film The Beasts

The painting by Rodrigo Sorogoyen was created based on real events that happened to a particular couple. However, there were many more similar cases.

The answer to all this is simple: the Spaniards really don’t like the French. They do not like the inhabitants of Foggy Albion. The British, in turn, historically do not like not only the inhabitants of continental Europe, but even their neighbors – the Irish (and this dislike is mutual) and the Scots. As a result, despite the agenda, traits such as racism and xenophobia are alive and well in European society.

This is explained by the fact that the notorious “civilized world” is actually nothing more than an illusion. There will always be someone who is “worse” or “better” than us, and ideological conflicts will continue too. And the one “with whom the truth is true” will not always win. Because everyone has their own truth.

Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s painting leaves a strong impression. Thanks to its deep meaning and high-quality presentation of current topics, it will be remembered for a long time. This is a really serious, dark, but socially and personally very important movie about human nature and society as a whole. And it’s definitely worth seeing.

hero with dog of the film The Beasts
Still from the film The Beasts

Similar films

Here are several films that are somewhat similar in plot and meaning to the film The Beasts:

  • Straw Dogs (UK, USA, 1971). A young woman, the wife of a famous mathematician, begins to flirt with her neighbors. Some people really don’t like this…
  • A Clockwork Orange (UK, USA, 1971). The film tells about the life of a teenage gang leader.
  • Funny Games (USA, France, UK, Austria, Germany, Italy, 2007). Two young people one day decide to have fun and attack a family.
  • Deliverance (USA, 1972). Four tourists exploring the Appalachian wilderness are captured by several members of the local population.
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