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Film Review: Triangle of Sadness (2022)

Updated: Oct 15, 2023

Kelaru & Fulton rating: ★★★★

Available on Prime Video | Runtime: 2hrs 27mins

Rubén Östlund is back with another scathing satire about society's obsession with beauty, wealth and status in his 2022 film Triangle of Sadness. And while the Swedish director is no stranger to using dark humour and absurdity to critique social norms and human behaviour, this Palme d'Or winner at Cannes raises the bar to sink luxury yachts - and leaves no one unscathed in its wake.

The story follows celebrity model couple Carl (Harris Dickinson) and Yaya (Charlbi Dean) as they set sail on a ultra-luxury cruise for the uber rich, captained by an unhinged Marxist alcoholic (the scene-stealing Woody Harrelson). But their decadent trip goes hilariously off the rails when the boat capsizes after dinner and the roles reverse - the working class staff must now take charge over the helpless passengers.

What ensues is a masterclass in awkward situational comedy as the pretentious posh guests try and fail repeatedly to take control on a deserted island. Watching the self-proclaimed social elites struggle for basic survival while the staff roams free is sweet karmic justice. Even more hysterical is the symbolic scene where the passengers try desperately to hold on to their designer luggage as they swim to shore.

Östlund spares no one his piercing satire, as coursing through the mayhem and absurdity is an astute critique of our obsession with appearances, gender roles, class and even human nature. The beauty of Triangle of Sadness lies in how it packs seriously thought-provoking commentary in scenes of utter ridiculousness - almost like hiding your broccoli in cake batter.

As the stranded super rich guests descend into primal chaos fighting over food or turning to capitalism in its rawest form, Triangle of Sadness will have you laughing, cringing and occasionally gasping in shock - often at the same time. Rubén Östlund holds up a fun house mirror to society's excesses and warped values, where the reflection is a parody so absurd that you can't look away.

So if you're looking for a scathingly entertaining satire coated in copious amounts of awkward dark humor, Triangle of Sadness is your luxury cruise ship waiting to capsize. Just don't expect to walk out viewing society the same way again once this Swedish director works his magic.



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