Harassment in the work place is an all too regular occurrence and yet one seldom seen, nor substantially tackled in cinema. Whether it be subtle, psychological bullying, or more overt oppression, it’s commonplace to see this go on, and it’s what lays the foundations for Louis-Julien Petit’s sophomore feature film to thrive off.

Isabelle Adjani plays the eponymous lead role, a physician who finds herself embroiled in a dark series of events, becoming something of a therapist to those working at a telesales company, who find solace in sharing their anguish with her. The bosses, Christine (Corinne Masiero) and Jean-Paul (Arnaud Viard) have an unflinching standard for their employees to reach, of triumphing by any means necessary. Such pressure takes its toll on several of those working for the company, which even results in a couple of dead bodies. Carole fights for the rights of the employees, while at the same time having to assist a detective in his investigation of this morally corrupt, contentious establishment.

It’s something of a rarity to see Adjani grace the silver screen nowadays, and on this showing you can see why that’s such a shame, for she illuminates the screen in a seemingly effortless manner, in a way she always has done. It’s an internalised, subtle display, she is carrying the burden of so many people, they confide in her and she keeps these secrets within her, and you can see they’re eating her away inside, and yet she manages to convey this without words, with just a single glance. Regrettably, however, the actress is let down by the depiction of this narrative, for it’s dressed up in an all too generic setting, as the melodrama, and the choice of music, cheapens the feature and makes it seem more akin to a lengthy episode of CSI, and her performance deserves better.

Petit does do a fine job in displaying the sheer haphazard nature of the workplace, as the viewer too feels suffocated by the environment, it feels like a horrible place to be in, and we’re merely stepping foot in it briefly, these employees spend 5 days a week there. It’s a setting not too dissimilar to that which we see in Gerard Butler’s The Headhunter’s Calling, and yet both films are wildly dissimilar in tone, yet comparable more so in how they’re both flawed feature films that struggle to really get going.