2022, Movies

Triangle of Sadness (2022, Ruben Östlund)

This is a satire cum gross-out comedy about the world’s 1%, broken up into 3 parts with a prologue. It won the Palme d’Or so there was more than a little hype going into it. What I can say is that it is very funny and it is breezy 147 minutes. So that’s something.

It’s hard to understand why the prologue exists, except to give the film its title. It’s just a bunch of easy jokes about the fashion industry and doesn’t do much for the rest of the movie except to introduce the male protagonist. It could have been cut. The biggest problem with the film is that it needs an editor. The prologue is the worst example of this, though.

Part 1 is some pretty good “battle of the sexes” humour between the female model who makes more than her male model boyfriend of convenience. (They have a relationship meant to promote both of their brands.) The couple are our through-line for the madness to follow, so introducing them in this way makes a lot of sense to me.

So Part 2 is on a cruise ship and things go from absurd to out-of-control and gross but not that quickly. (Again, editing.) There is some satire here, but it’s not subtle and it is soon replaced by gross-out humour and speeches. But don’t worry, it’s very, very funny.

This section has some parts that are handled really, really well – one is a pretty major spoiler – but also things that feel clunky or too cute. On the whole, I think it succeeds, but it is bloated (but entertaining).

What happens in the final part is a bit of a spoiler but the film remains extremely funny if, once again, in need of an editor and decidedly unsubtle.

The ending is ambiguous, which is how I like my endings.

It’s certainly not a masterpiece. It badly needs an editor. The director thinks he’s more profound than he actually is. But it’s extremely funny and entertaining and, as I said, before an extremely breezy 147 minutes. (It’s also quite funny to think of these people watching this film and not realizing who they are in the movie.)


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