Stroking An Animal Review The Nerdy Basement

‘Stroking An Animal’ Review: Love and Friendships Are Tested in This Drama-Hollow Romance

Relationships. Whether platonic or romantic, relationships are a crucial part of the mental, physical, and emotional success of mankind. It is how humanity thrives and ultimately survives. When we come across another person that initial interaction will either lead to a platonic or a romantic relationship be it man or woman. While platonic relationships also often bring a test of trust, loyalty, and respect, sometimes betrayal and disappointment. It is more often than not romantic relationships that bring forth the most pain and deception as trust, loyalty, and respect are broken time and time again. A sense of betrayal that is more often than not, hard to overcome but as with all wounds, they all heal with time.

Stroking An Animal puts romantic relationships under a microscope in the form of a non-monogamous/polyamorous relationship between two women, Mariña (Lidia Veiga) and Ada (Ángela Ríos), and a man named Tomás (Xulio Besteiro). This throuple embarks on seasonal adventures consisting of traveling, sex, partying, and camping with friends. Stroking An Animal highlights and emphasizes the growing sexual tension and sexual pursuit of this polyamorous relationship but never fully dives into the nuances and intricacies that started this ordeal and how this goes from an experience to an ultimate betrayal. Essentially lacking the drama the film wants to sell you on.

Stroking An Animal Review The Nerdy Basement

A lot of the film is presented from Mariña’s perspective and journal entries in which she journals the seasons and the events that she partakes in with Ada and Tomás, despite seeing it mostly visually fleshed out rather than written down, Mariña provides some poetic metaphors that don’t fully resonate with what she is experiencing with Ada and Tomás.

It is possible that the film’s short runtime could be the main reason for not fully diving into the brewing drama and betrayal of this relationship which is unfortunate especially when the throuple, now seemingly back to being an exclusive couple has seemingly fixed things without showing us how they have overcome this betrayal, rebuilt their trust and love for each other and seemingly agreed to no longer include Tomás in their relationship.

Stroking An Animal Review The Nerdy Basement

Additionally, the film fails to show the effects of how these individuals, who are actual friends, blur the lines between being platonic friends to romantic partners. Real feelings were involved which led to a real sense of betrayal when Ada “cheats” on Mariña with Tomás a second time (we do not see when she cheats the first time or when Ada is restricted from seeing Tomás again).

When you sit back and look at it the film comes across as all sex and no drama. Which is rather disappointing for a topic like this one. The film could’ve taken the opportunity to showcase how Mariña, Ada, and Tomás’s peers viewed their relationship, although it appears that their peers were oblivious to their happenings.

Stroking An Animal tries its best to showcase the possible pros and possible cons of being in an open relationship and how one person’s overwhelming feelings can make or break a pact. While providing an interesting visual aesthetic. Some moments are raw and intense and drive home the intimacy of this relationship. But fails immensely in providing all the intricacies and nuances of this particular relationship as we watch it all crumble. Providing a hollow viewing experience when it’s all said and done.

Stroking An Animal is now playing in select theaters and is available to rent on digital.

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