Title – Triangle of Sadness (2022)
Director – Ruben Östlund (The Square)
Cast – Harris Dickinson, Charlbi Dean, Dolly De Leon, Woody Harrelson
Plot – The divide between the rich and the poor comes to the forefront when trouble strikes a luxury cruise ship filled with an array of eclectic crew members and guests.
“I want us to be equal”
Review by Eddie on 25/01/2023
The winner of the 2022 Cannes Film Festival’s coveted Palme d’Or prize, Ruben Östlund’s Oscar nominated latest slice of melancholy and home truths about the human condition is going to be a divisive exercise for audiences as the Swedish director examines the divide between the haves and the have nots in an epic darkly comedic operation that will likely ensure it’s sometime between trips to your local seafood market.
Flirting the line between dramatic beats and Monty Python like physical comedy and outlandish situations, Östlund’s Triangle of Sadness is broken up into multiple chapters, with the central figures to the story being Harris Dickinson’s down on his luck model Carl and his influencer girlfriend Yaya (played by the late Charlbi Dean who sadly passed away not long after the films release) as the two find themselves aboard a luxury yacht captained by Woody Harrelson’s unpredictable literature loving overseer who is going to provide the cruise’s guests with numerous unforgettable memories.
In no hurry across its questionably extensive two and half hour runtime, many will not be able to predict where Sadness is going as it slowly and surely wanders along its narrative that around the midway point provides viewers with some of the most unexpected and eye-popping cinematic moments of recent memories as Östlund’s razor sharp social commentary takes hold and the journey of Carl, Yaya and the cruise’s many guests and staff crash headfirst in an explosive way, leading to various revelations and contemplation’s for the films colourful characters.
Headlined well by rising star Dickinson and the taken too soon Dean, who you sense was destined for big things following this effort, Sadness finds some fantastic moments courtesy of Östlund’s award worthy screenplay and some fantastic turns from the likes of Dolly De Leon as softly spoken ship handmaid Abigail, Zlatko Buric as Russian millionaire Dimitry (stealing the films best scene courtesy of a P.A system) and the always enjoyable Harrelson, who as per usual makes the most of any screen time he has given as a man who appears to have had enough of playing along with mandatory niceties.
With so much to enjoy and unpack across Sadness’s extensive runtime, there is a strong sense that Östlund’s feature runs out of steam in the latter stages and while it’s best that viewers head into Sadness as blind as possible, once the films last chapter takes hold there are less wins for the narrative as we begin to look forward to a neat wrap up that comes in the form of one of the more abrupt endings of 2022, one that is likely to cause significant debate amongst the film community, much like the film as a whole that some will adore and others loathe.
Final Say –
Providing us with some of the more memorable genuinely hilarious moments of any film from the last 12 months, Triangle of Sadness is a unique feature film from one of the most individual voices in world cinema and while the film does run out of steam in its endgame, Östlund’s film is still another fine addition to an increasingly impressive resume of releases.
4 hand grenades out of 5