Director: Giorgos Lanthimos
Writer: Giorgos Lanthimos
This was an Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Film this year and a pretty crazy one at that. I really didn’t know what to expect except for the basic premise. I had been led to believe based on various promotional materials that it was a dark comedy but I really didn’t find any humor in it at all. Maybe I just didn’t get it because of the subtitles or I don’t get the Greek sense of humor but I found the movie to be pretty dark and disturbing but at the same time very original and a little confounding.
The story involves three kids whose parents have decided to raise them on their vast compound and to never let them leave or tell them about the outside world. When the kids do find out about something going on outside their home the parents quickly make up lies such as telling them that the sea is a chair or when a cat comes into their yard they are told it is a ferocious beast that must be killed. When an airplane flies over head a parent throws a toy airplane and they pretend that what they saw had fallen out of the sky as a prize for the children. The idea being the outside world is a horrible place and this is the ultimate form of sheltering their children from any and al harm. The premise is cruel to me but interesting.
The problems arise when the kids grow up and start to discover their sexuality. The father starts to bring home a woman for her son to have sex with the satisfy is sexual appetite. In turn the woman starts telling the two daughters they can lick her in certain places in exchange for things. If this sounds erotic it really isn’t. It is shot in the most flat and boring way possible and takes any and all eroticism out of the sexual scenes (think Eyes Wide Shut). The acting from the children I also say as fairly flat and emotionless but I didn’t see that as a negative because that seemed to be on purpose.
The movie grows more twisted and brutal from there as things start to spiral out of control. Once the movie ended I just kind of sat dumb founded not really quite sure of what I had seen but sitting here writing this review is making me appreciate it more. The movie is pretty out there and shocking but there really isn’t a movie like this getting made in America any time soon. A definite original. Worth checking out.