Triangle of Sadness
Two-time Palme d’Or winner Ruben Östlund cements his position as contemporary cinema’s leading satirist with this savagely funny tale of class clashes and role reversals.
This outrageous comedy finds a rogues’ gallery of wealthy guests (from business tycoons to heiresses) aboard a hyper-luxury yacht, whose downtrodden staff – under the command of their captain and avowed Marxist (Woody Harrelson) – must respond to their every belittling whim in the hope of winning tips. Among the super-rich patrons are the oh-so-beautiful couple Carl (Harris Dickinson) and Yaya (Charlbi Dean), two models and social media influencers who have been invited on a free trip to show off the kind of lavish lifestyle many could only dream of.
When the vessel is shipwrecked after a storm, the remaining passengers and crew are left stranded on an island. Here, survival skills become the new currency and hierarchical structures are upended, with the ship’s toilet cleaner Abigail (Dolly De Leon) taking charge over the moneyed elites, who are at a loss without their creature comforts. Fate introduces a little equality among the survivors, with anarchic, shocking and hilarious results.
After winning the Palme d’Or in 2017 for The Square, Östlund entered that rare category of directors to win the prize twice with his latest film. Just as he skewered family values in Force Majeure and the art world in The Square, in his latest effort the filmmaker takes to task the wealthiest of the wealthy, the social-media set and the treatment of those whose service-industry jobs make them invisible, yet when the world is turned upside down become indispensable. Triangle of Sadness is further evidence of Östlund’s brilliant skewering of modern Western society, its values and everything that those who profit from it hold dear.
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