Saturday 9 December 2023

Movie Review: Triangle Of Sadness (2022)

Genre: Satirical Comedy Drama
Director: Ruben Östlund
Starring: Harris Dickinson, Charlbi Dean, Woody Harrelson
Running Time: 147 minutes

Synopsis: Fashion models Carl and Yaya (Harris Dickinson and Charlbi Dean) are a photogenic couple, although their relationship is beset by quarrels about finance, jealousy, and mis-matched expectations. Yaya's influencer status earns them a luxury yacht cruise, where the other passengers include Russian oligarch Dimitry and his family, a lonely businessman, an elderly British couple, and a wheelchair-bound German stroke victim. The Captain (Woody Harrelson) is more drunk than competent, leaving head-of-staff Paula (Vicki Berlin) to manage the cruise. Alcohol, rough seas, and other unexpected interventions thrust the cruise into turmoil.

What Works Well: Swedish director and writer Ruben Östlund steers a wild - and wildly funny - eat-the-rich voyage, exposing obvious but still impressive discrepancies between wealth, talent, and ability. The surprise-filled narrative proceeds through three chapters, from intimately introducing Carl and Yaya's strained cocoon all the way to upturning the societal pyramid. The commentary is never less than biting as gender and ethnic roles are both confirmed and challenged, and the hazards of the rough seas catalyze dramatic changes in fortune. The long running length is well-earned through brisk and bold storytelling, punctuated by an unforgettable Captain's Dinner sequence.

What Does Not Work As Well: One character zooms to prominence in the final act. Her prior obscurity is probably the point, but also robs her of depth and context.

Conclusion: The fragility of vacuous success is best shattered with a smile.

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