Triangle of Sadness (2022)

Movie Title: Triangle of Sadness

Year Released: 2022

Rated: R

Runtime: 2h 29min

Genre: Comedy

Director: Ruben Östlund

Writer: Ruben Östlund

Starring: Harris Dickinson, Charlbi Dean, Dolly de Leon, Zlatko Buric, Iris Berben, Vicki Berlin, Henrik Dorsin, Jean-Christophe Folly, Amanda Walker, Oliver Ford Davies, Sunnyi Melles, Woody Harrelson, Alicia Eriksson, Carolina Gynning, Arvin Kananian

Review: Carl (Harris Dickinson) and Yaya (Charlbi Dean), a couple of influencers, are invited to a luxury cruise ship alongside a group of out of touch wealthy people. The situation takes an unexpected turn when a brutal storm hits the ship.

Triangle of Sadness is Ruben Östlund's often hilarious take on social inequality. Winner of the Palme d'Or at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, and Oscar nominee for Best Picture, this film transcends social commentary regarding privilege and wealth. We live in a society where social class and inequality is oftentimes difficult to escape. We see it and we experience it in one way or another practically everyday. This film inspects this reality in a very funny way with a cast of relative unknowns (outside of Woody Harrelson). Aboard a yacht, we are exposed to a bevy of filthy-rich folks, a couple of models plying their trade as social media influencers, the ship's crew, and their drunkenly apathetic captain (Harrelson). What ultimately ensues is a series of wacky shenanigans that illustrates in a satirical, sensationalized way what happens if those lines of class are crossed or obliterated completely.

The film is broken into chapters. Primarily, you have the introduction which introduces us to model couple Carl and Yaya. From there the movie shifts into two parts: aboard the yacht and on the island. Life on the yacht is high class, booze-fueled, and carefree. The poor, unsuspecting crew has to succumb to and fulfill all of the guest requests at the drop of a hat -- no matter how absurd or invasive they are. But after pirates capsize the ship and send this crew of characters to a deserted island, everything changes. The upper class, conceited partygoers who unsurprisingly have no idea how to survive are forced to follow the lead of the lone survivalist in their group: Abigail (Dolly de Leon), who also happens to have previously been a housekeeper on the yacht. Ah-ha! How the tables have turned! As Abigail begins to navigate those she used to serve through the dire situation in which they find themselves, all hell breaks loose. What do you expect to happen when a person who's never wielded power or authority, suddenly finds themselves at the top of the totem pole?

Tyranny? Oppression? A reversal of societal norms? Using a reserve of pretzel sticks as a tool of coercion and manipulation? Bingo.

Triangle of Sadness successfully torpedos modern society and does so in a way that is completely unhinged. Amid all of the projectile vomiting, sewage leaks, power outages, and pirate attacks is a hell of a good time. While this movie could have benefitted from a shorter runtime, I implore you to hop on the yacht and experience this wild ride of a movie for yourself. Östlund's depiction of social inequities is nothing short of original and ingenious. Triangle of Sadness was a pleasant surprise during my watch of Oscar nominees this award season, and I recommend it highly!

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: The yacht scenes were shot on the Cristina O, the former yacht of the Onassis family. The crew had only nine days to shoot on it, which cost a lot of money. The shoot ended the day before another lockdown came into effect. Director Ruben Östlund admits that if the lockdown had happened a few days earlier, he doesn't know how they would have managed to finish the movie.


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