TRIANGLE OF SADNESS (2022)


I saw this wonderfully witty film yesterday afternoon at the State Theatre on Sunday 19th June 2022 at 3pm as part of the last day of the Sydney Film Festival and going in I had no clue about the film’s narrative. 

Something about rich people, that’s literally it. 

Charlbi Dean and Harris Dickinson

This is always the best way for me to watch a film, the less I know, the less I can pre-judge and the cleaner the experience can be. Going in unadorned by my sometimes partly informed opinions I don’t allow my brain to make 2 and 2 equal 5 as it is wont to do. 

I did know that it was directed by Ruben Östlund, the Swedish director whose last two films I enjoyed very much, Force Majeure (2014) and The Square (2017) and also that it had just won the Palme D’Or at Cannes. It was probably going to be pretty decent.

The festival director, Nashen Moodley introduced the film and told us that we were one of the first audiences in the world to view the film off the back of it’s Cannes success.
He said that it was a wild film and were in for a wild ride. 

He wasn’t wrong. 

One of the great things about being in a darkened room with a bunch of strangers is the collective experience. This was an audience of cinema lovers and consequently they were all there out of a shared love for the art. The excitement was palpable.

From left: Vicki Berlin, Henrik Dorsen, Zlatco Buric, director Ruben Östlund, Charlbi Dean, Harris Dickinson and Carolina Gynning

A searing indictment of the discrepancies between the have too much and the rest of the world.
The film is told in 3 chapters.
The first is about the expected usual male/female roles that are played out in society, the second is set on a luxury cruise ship and the third is set on a beach.
Each chapter delves intelligently and very humorously about various topics including capitalism, socialism, taxes, power, masculine and feminine roles, and ultimately the usefulness and capabilities of the individual.

The less that is said about plot, the better for the unsuspecting audience.

1-There will be models

2-There will be a cruise

3-There will be an island.

The actors; Harris Dickinson, Charlbi Dean, Dolly De Leon, Vicki Berlin, Henrik Dorsen, Jean-Christophe Folly, Iris Berben, Woody Harrelson and Zlatko Buric are all brilliant in this. Special shout out to Zlatko Buric who I last saw as Milo in the Pusher trilogy years ago and he is superb here.
Check him out in the clip below playing drunk magnificently.

Ruben Östlund continues his successful run of films with biting social observations in this absolutely brilliant, unapologetic satire on the rich and privileged. 

I highly recommend you seek out this very funny film when it is released near you.

A well deserved Palme D’Or winner.

147 minutes.

5/5

PIRANHAS (2019)

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If you feel you have no choice, you do what you have to.

This is the conundrum of Nicola, a 15 year old boy living in the Camorra run streets of Naples, Italy. There are no other options for Nicola and his friends and like many young people around the world living in gang controlled areas, they see crime as the only way to make it.

Based on the Roberto Saviano’s best selling novel and directed by Claudio Giovannesi: Piranhas-The Boy Bosses of Naples is closely related and definitely has the hallmarks and the style of the film and the television series, Gomorra(h). There is little surprise with the Saviano connection and the fact Giovannesi had previously directed two episodes of the series prior to Piranhas cements this connection.

It’s no secret that I am a big fan of Gomorra(h)TM in all it’s iterations. The film is brilliant and then the series took it to the next level, operatic, Greek trajedic and raw and brutal as fuck and so Piranhas is an extension of this world and I, for one applaud it. Gomorra(h) introduces us to the kids on the streets becoming soldiers for the main characters, the local bosses and shows what happens when they become involved in the world and that usually doesn’t end well for the participants and Piranhas is an extension of this. You can’t talk Piranhas without giving the obvious nod to it’s predecessor.

The acting is always true, there is no mugging for the camera by the actors and this is so refreshing in a world where you are hit by a plethora of ‘displays’ of acting. The kids are brilliant and Francesco Di Napoli playing the lead, Nicola, is a breakout star, delivering a fantastic performance rooted in reality. The joy, camaraderie and love the boys have for each other is palpable, they are a non-blood family and their love for one another shows on the screen.

After season 4 of Gomorrah, I was fiending for more so I watched Suburra (the film and the 2 seasons) and even though I enjoyed it, it definitely felt like the younger, less gritty sibling of Gomorra; the Roman equivalent to the streets of Naples and so, watching Piranhas, I got excited again.

This won the Silver Berlin Bear award for Best Screenplay at the Berlin International Film Festival and deservedly so. I haven’t read the book it was based on but I thoroughly enjoyed the journey of the film.

This is a brilliant slice of life in the streets of Naples seen through the eyes of the young. It is scathing but empathetic and understanding, never truly judging the characters merely taking a ride with them through their volatile lives.

4/5

Rent or Buy from Amazon HERE