Film Review: Triangle of Sadness
Triangle of Sadness
Director: Ruben Ӧstlund
Release Date: 10.07
The world of the rich, famous and occasionally beautiful feels untouchable for most of us, but, according to Triangle of Sadness, everything is not what it seems. This year’s Cannes Film Festival Palme D’Or winner, Triangle of Sadness follows an influencer couple (Harris Dickinson, Charlbi Dean) as they depart on a luxury cruise. The other passengers are all multi-millionaires, mostly due to owning companies that produce things like weaponry or manure. When things go awry, the couple’s relationship is tested—as is the capitalistic infrastructure that runs the Western world.
As it’s a film focused on people, Triangle of Sadness’ performances anchor the comedy. As an ensemble, there’s little better out there. Every actor seems to understand the film’s intentions and is not afraid to get down and dirty, sometimes literally, with their role. In particular, Dolly De Leon stands out. Her dryness and expert comedic timing bring exactly the right amount of salt while Harris Dickenson adds the sugar. As the cruise ship’s captain, Woody Harleson is the icing on the cake. For a little something extra, Vicki Berlin as the over-enthusiastic employee manager is not to be ignored. Her performance is intentionally excessive yet grounding, as we all know someone that buys into the system, despite being on the wrong side of the equation.
Perhaps most significantly, Triangle of Sadness does not beat around the bush about its intended purpose. In fact, some might say that the film’s anti-capitalist message is too obvious, but it actually works in the film’s favor. Despite its many awards, the movie is devoid of any sort of pretension. As a comedy, it is extremely accessible to a mainstream audience, even going so far as to include numerous gross-out sequences that may be perceived as juvenile, but again, it works to prove the film’s point: This is a film for the people; it’s a statement of support and understanding for many who are sick of existing in a system that benefits only a select few.
If the film has any weakness, it’s a vague sense of preaching to the choir. The average consumer doesn’t need a movie to tell them they’re being exploited. However, because the film does not belittle its audience, it should be understood as an encapsulation of the economic time in which we live rather than an educational document or battle cry. Triangle of Sadness is not telling you how to live, but rather reflecting the situation back at you. And what is the purpose of art if not to do just that? The viewer need not ask too much of it to make the film work.
To balance the bluntness of the message with the delicate nature of the technique is no small feat. The comedic nature of the project makes Triangle of Sadness all the more worth wahttps://www.slugmag.com/arts/film-arts/film-reviews/decision-to-leave/tching. It’s a film made for the people; the only question that remains is if the people will buy a ticket. There’s irony there, but it isn’t lost on Ӧstlund. Will it be lost on you? –Mickey Randle
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