Dark humor movies are a genre that I’m a big fan of. It is a genre where it balances the line of laughing hard and feeling bad about laughing at the subject manner. With the movie Triangle of Sadness, directed by Ruben Ostlund, it is a fucked up, twisted, anxiety fueled and incredibly made hysterical masterpiece! It finds that balance of myself laughing uncontrollably and being extremely uncomfortable. It hits every level of stress for me in the best way possible. It contains amazing social commentary and is hilariously dark. This movie is without a doubt one of the best movies this year. It has captivating dialogue from characters. They truly are the worst people you would want to be with on a deserted island. The movie focuses on two main characters for the most part, but every character really shines through. They all have crazy personalities of people we totally have seen in society or on social media. The movie has so much to say and it is very unapologetic about it, which makes for a very compelling story. It throws punches at topics without holding back and with no remorse. It feels like they had the full creative liberty of telling this story with no restrictions. This is rare these days and I loved the movie for it. Triangle of Sadness should be talked about more and deserves all of the accolades this award season.
Let’s talk about Ruben Ostund real quick. I’m not familiar with his previous work and that will for sure change soon. The director is the true star of this movie. Told in parts, the movie sets up in a very interesting intro. The movie then proceeds to get crazier as each part concludes. Every frame in this movie is perfectly crafted. There are some great camera angles, long takes and amazing cinematography. The movie looks great. There’s a large amount of attention to detail how the scenes are played out. The scenes string together through storytelling and the intentional uneasy punch lines. Every decision a character makes, leads to an outcome that has a tragic consequence. Telling a story where the decisions of these specific characters make, will indeed lead to an unfortunate event, makes the movie so engaging. It is hard to witness some of the time, which causes the discomfort. At the same time, the movie is outrageous and ridiculous. The humor is dark in this aspect, but works well with the tone of the entire film. There is always a sense of stress, dread and uneasiness, but is cleverly funny at the same time. This is something that is super difficult to pull off and the director was able to do it. The movie does suffer from some pacing issues. As I said before, the movie builds up speed. It is a slow burn. Although there is great dialogue that is captivating in the beginning, it takes awhile to get anywhere. With a long runtime, it took me quite awhile to finish. I had to pause and take breaks. By the time an hour passes, that’s when things begin to pickup.
Now let's talk about these characters. We get introduced to an amazing ensemble of people that we follow. Each actor did a phenomenal job in the film. The two main characters are Carl (Harris Dickinson) and Yaya (Charlbi Dean), who play a male model and influencer who are dating. The movie really plays well with the script and heavily leans on the tropes of the influencer lifestyle. The movie itself, tells a message about the elite rich, business people and famous folk. I do not want to spoil too much, but seeing how they live their lives and the decisions they make, made me gasp many times. I haven’t seen anything done like this before. The closest thing you can relate it to, is the HBO Max show White Lotus. It is unfortunate that the actress Charlbi Dean has passed away earlier this year. She has tremendous talent and it’s truly sad. She really embodied her character and was my favorite out of all the characters. Besides her performance, I do have to say that Woody Harrelson stole a lot of the scenes in this movie. He was the big star attached to this project and although he stole a lot of the scenes, his character isn’t in the movie that long. I actually thought that it worked perfectly for the story. He came in, gave a great performance and let the rest of the cast carry the rest of the movie.
Overall the movie shines bright in a world where there isn’t that many original movies such as this. Each year we get a handful in the mix of the main blockbusters, dramas and action flicks. It felt gritty, dirty and blunt. The topics were engaging and the director did not hold back what he wanted to say. Everyone did a smashing job at delivering their lines and there was at no time where the punchlines didn’t hit. I felt bad at laughing at moments and the movie was made in a way so I do. The scenarios and outcomes are so bad, it’s funny. Truly one of the best shot movies this year as well. Besides the pacing issues in the beginning, I thought this movie was pretty flawless. It is one that holds a lot of value in the story. Tells many important lessons and even changes your perspective on how you see society. This is a movie that many people should seek out to go see. I’m very happy that I went in blind as well. That is the best way to see the film. Go in not knowing too much and just enjoy the events unfold.
Written By: Frederick Nuti
Rest in Peace to Charlbi Dean Kriek, you will truly be missed.