With his sourly playful satire “Triangle of Sadness,” the Swedish director Ruben Östlund shoots fish in a barrel and displays them with an adventurer’s pride. He takes on the easy targets of the obliviously rich and their glamorous entourages and delivers a handful of café-table insights and would-be outrages that seem calculated to the millimetre. It’s a movie of targeted demagogy that pitches its facile political stances to the preconceptions of the art-house audience; far from deepening those ideas or challenging those assumptions, it flatters the like-minded viewership while swaggering with the filmmaker’s presumption of freethinking, subversive audacity. Of course, “Triangle of Sadness” (which opens Friday in theatres) won the Palme d’Or, the highest prize, at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
The protagonists are two models, Carl (Harris Dickinson) and Yaya (Charlbi Dean). Their relationship is dominated by fights over money, reflecting their profession’s casual precarity. Carl is introduced at an audition where a dozen or more male models wait around, shirtless, while being prepped by a wrangler who has them pose and emote on command; the models alternate between the cheerful expressions that sell mass-market clothing and the dour ones of high-end designer fashion. Carl’s audition is a torment of superficiality and scrutiny. (The title of the film refers to the lines between his eyebrows, and his prospective employers are heard whispering of Botox.) At a fashion show where he’s a spectator, his disposable spot in the scene’s pecking order is emphasized in a runway-show kerfuffle over seating. It’s in such moments that Östlund’s surest manner is revealed: at his best, he’s a filmmaker of fine points—delicate indicia of poignant humiliations exposing characters to cruel truths about themselves—which he realizes in scenes and images of a clean precision. (The scene that revolves around seating, featuring a long, slow tracking shot, could have been part of a silent film.)
But Östlund’s strongest suit and his strongest inclination are in conflict with each other; his keen observations are submerged in his efforts at social criticism and political philosophy. When Yaya and Carl fight over picking up the check at a fancy restaurant, the extended proceedings discharge their meaning in a pair of quickly delivered lines: Carl says that she makes much more money than he does; Yaya responds that her career is likely shorter, especially if she gets pregnant. The film is sardonic about modelling, but there’s nothing satirical in its view of the business or of the couple’s self-aware place in it. The movie attempts to expands its range with Yaya’s side job as a social-media influencer, which gets the pair a cabin on a yacht cruise for a self-selecting handful of the blithely wealthy, but this plot turn, which takes over the film, prompts Östlund to transform his cast of characters into a sociological cross-section of secondhand types.
The emblem of the cruise is the team of assault-weapon-toting guards who are conspicuously posted on the deck. The belowdecks crews of manual laborers are almost all nonwhite—the cleaning crew comprises mainly Southeast Asian women, and the engine-room workers mostly Black and brown men. As the cruise gets under way, the service staff, a dozen or so young white people in crisp, white-shirted uniforms, meets under the command of the cheerily martial Paula (Vicki Berlin), who exhorts them to say “Yes, sir,” and “Yes, Ma’am,” with hearty enthusiasm, and to never say no to anything—even if a guest is requesting an illicit substance or a “unicorn.” (Unfortunately, this elaborate scene adds little to a similar one, of staffers at a summer hotel-resort, in Busby Berkeley’s “Gold Diggers of 1935”—complete with its race-based distinctions.)
Not only does “Triangle of Sadness” mock Yaya’s work as an influencer; it sets up Carl and Yaya as frivolous wannabes, even riper for a takedown than the rich with whom they hobnob, because they enjoy the same privileges without selling their souls but merely their images. The hollow simulacra of humans surrounding them on this ship of fools include Dimitry (Zlatko Burić), a Russian oligarch who boasts of selling “shit,” i.e., fertilizer; plus a British arms merchant named Winston (Oliver Ford Davies) and his wife, Clementine (Amanda Walker), who lament the international ban on land mines and its effect on their fortune. There’s also a friendless software creator (Henrik Dorsin) and a haughty woman (Mia Benson) who insists that the ship’s sails need washing. (The ship has no sails.) In a characterization that reveals Östlund’s crass sense of humor, there’s a running joke about a woman named Therese (Iris Berben), who is disabled by a stroke and aphasic, able only to call her husband by name and speak the phrase “in den Wolken” (“in the clouds”).
The protagonist of the voyage is the yacht’s captain (Woody Harrelson), an alcoholic who stays locked in his cabin, drunk, blaring a recording of the “Internationale” while reading leftist texts (he declares that he’s not a Communist but a Marxist) and ignoring the entreaties of his crew. The result of his neglect is the scheduling of a formal dinner for all guests on the night of a storm; the ship rocks wildly in the waves, leading to a tragicomic epidemic of seasickness, complete with projectile vomiting and a literal shitstorm erupting from the vessel’s toilets. Spoiler alert: it sounds like more fun than it looks. Östlund may not hesitate to make his characters miserable, but he spares the audience (or, rather, keeps an eye on the box-office), making sure that the excremental scenes stay well short of revulsion; their grossness remains theoretical.
A handful of small-scale scenes deliver quiet but sharp jabs to viewers’ ribs regarding the cavalier display of casual power. Carl, jealous of Yaya’s wink at a shirtless and handsome deckhand (Timoleon Gketsos), salves his pique by lodging a petty complaint to Paula, only to witness the punitive results. Dimitry’s wife, Vera (Sunnyi Melles), making a spectacle of her egalitarian sympathies, tries to reverse roles by ordering a crew member (Alicia Eriksson) to abandon her duties. (The logical conundrum is quick and cutting.) But Östlund’s grandiose sensibility unfortunately dominates the film, both in its political bombast (as in a scene of the captain and Dimitry drinking wildly while trading leaden political witticisms; Dimitry’s rely on the collected works of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher) and in the major pivot that occurs midway through. I won’t spoil this much, except to say that a motley batch of passengers and crew members end up stranded on a deserted island, forced into raw survivalism in a state just above that of nature, where money is useless and power relationships are drastically altered in ways that are utterly unsurprising and commonplace, even if they do lead to a clever trick ending.
Only the fine cast lends life to the movie’s superficial caricatures, even if the hectic, blatant script edges the performances toward the clattery side and Östlund’s precise but stiff direction leaves little room for inventiveness. In particular, Berlin’s rendition of authoritarian cheer and Dolly de Leon’s steadfast assertiveness as a long-suffering staffer leave high-relief impressions. As Clementine, the munitions-maker’s spouse, Walker delivers the best line in the film, with the perfect blithering lilt. Above all, the movie’s cast is shadowed by Charlbi Dean’s death, in August, from a lung infection, at the age of thirty-two. Although “Triangle of Sadness” sticks closer to Carl, the mercurial, elusive Yaya is the dramatic engine of the film, which would be nearly inert without Dean’s labile, coolly impulsive performance. If nothing else, the movie would have assured her stardom; there’s no telling how many characters and films her death foreclosed before their conception.♦
FAQsWhat is the song at the end of triangle of sadness? ›
Ostlund has a clear love for techno music. When he cues the techno groove “Marea (We've lost dancing)” towards the end, it almost made me cry with joy.Is Triangle of sadness worth watching? ›
Critic Reviews for Triangle of Sadness
November 4, 2022 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review… There's great heady stuff going on and also really weird fun in this film too.
Triangle of Sadness (French: Sans filtre, lit. 'Without Filter') is a 2022 internationally co-produced satirical black comedy film written and directed by Ruben Östlund in his English-language feature film debut.Why is it called The Sadness? ›
The Sadness has officially begun to plague citizens en masse, its name derived from the tears the infected shed despite their dementedly giddy demeanor.Who survived in The Sadness? ›
Blood-red eyes reflecting a manic gleam, the previously friendly neighbor shows zero reluctance in his desire to chop Jim alive. A kerfuffle ensues, and Jim survives and manages to kill the new beastly version of his neighbor.What does melancholy melody mean? ›
adjective. You describe something that you see or hear as melancholy when it gives you an intense feeling of sadness.What is the song in the final scene of Breaking Bad? ›
After he shot up the neo-Nazi compound and allowed his former partner Jesse Pinkman to run free, Walt succumbed to his own wound. He didn't die quickly so he took one more walk around the lab to admire the chemistry equipment as the song "Baby Blue" by Badfinger played over the scene.What was the song at the end of the last Euphoria episode? ›
Popular on Variety. Following the explosive Season 2 finale of HBO's “Euphoria,” composer Labrinth and star Zendaya have released the full version of “I'm Tired.”Why is Triangle of Sadness rated r? ›
Written and directed by Ruben Östlund. 149 minutes. Rated R for some sexual content and language.
"Triangle" is better than expected. It is marketed by a variety of posters and inlays, some indicate that it is just another slasher. There are some "slasher" elements in the story, but "Triangle" is so much more. The story throws you off a couple of times, there are some really nice and unexpected twists.Who is the protagonist in The Sadness? ›
It begins with the two main protagonists, Jim (Berant Zhu) and Kat (Regina Lei), waking up before each goes to their respective jobs. This is a sweet and caring moment before the movie takes a violent turn.How do you find The Sadness of a triangle? ›
Triangle of Sadness, a dark comedy movie starring Harris Dickinson, Charlbi Dean Kriek, and Woody Harrelson is available to stream now. Watch it on Vudu on your Roku device.Is The Sadness Taiwan? ›
The Sadness (Chinese: 哭悲; pinyin: Kū Bēi) is a 2021 Taiwanese body horror film written and directed by Canadian filmmaker Rob Jabbaz in his feature film directorial debut. It stars Berant Zhu and Regina as a Taiwanese couple who attempt to reunite amidst a viral pandemic that turns people into homicidal maniacs.What is the poet referring to as sadness? ›
The poet refers to the 'sadness' of failing to understand oneself in the monotonous every day existence. He also finds it sad that the humanity is moving towards its own ruin owing to its unanalyzed actions. He regrets the rush of outdoing others that has made us forget the values of humanity.What is sadness in your own words? ›
Sadness is an emotional pain associated with, or characterized by, feelings of disadvantage, loss, despair, grief, helplessness, disappointment and sorrow. An individual experiencing sadness may become quiet or lethargic, and withdraw themselves from others.How are they infected in The Sadness? ›
In "the sadness" a virus mutation transforms the infected! - this has nothing to do with zombies, nothing at all - into such unregulated creatures.How did Sadness help Riley? ›
Each emotion also has a unique role: Fear and Anger help Riley determine her flight-or-fight response. Disgust helps her stay away from unsavory situations. Joy helps Riley stay away from painful experiences and seek out happy ones. And Sadness, ultimately, helps Riley gain empathy and sympathy during times of loss.What happens to Molly in The Sadness? ›
Molly - Raped in the eye-socket by the infected businessman and infected. Unknown Person - Cannibalized by the infected Molly off-screen, remains shown.Is The Sadness zombie? ›
With The Sadness, Shudder's new Taiwanese sort-of-a-zombie-movie, freshman Canadian writer-director Rob Jabbaz certainly wants to join the ranks of those classics.
A melancholic personality meant a person was too bogged down with physical and emotional baggage to go about their life in a healthy manner. Melancholic people pay attention to the emotions of others as well as themselves.What is the symbol of melancholy? ›
Other aspects of the print reflect the traditional symbolism of melancholy, such as the bat, emaciated dog, purse and keys.Does melancholy mean happy? ›
Melancholy is beyond sad: as a noun or an adjective, it's a word for the gloomiest of spirits. Being melancholy means that you're overcome in sorrow, wrapped up in sorrowful thoughts.What is the most famous line from Breaking Bad? ›
'Tread lightly. ' "If that's true — if you don't know who I am — then maybe your best course is to tread lightly."Why was Baby Blue used in Breaking Bad? ›
It wasn't about Walter White as a criminal or a murderer or an awful person. It was him ending on his own terms. It felt creatively right.” “Baby Blue,” inspired by the late Badfinger singer Pete Ham's ex-girlfriend, Dixie Armstrong, was a Number 14 single, the last Top 20 hit in the British band's career.What does the pizza mean in Breaking Bad? ›
Breaking Bad's pizza throwing came courtesy of season 3, episode 2, “Caballo sin Nombre.” It happens when Walter White arrives at his home bearing pizza for his family, but his wife Skyler locks him out because she just found out he's been secretly selling meth and lying to her about it.How did Elliot save rues life? ›
The two stay in the washroom of Virgil's house, and after Rue snorts the same drug as Elliot, she feels like she's going to die so she has Elliot grab the crushed adderall from her sock to help her stay alive. After they laugh and Elliot's sure Rue's ok, it's the start of a friendship.Who was CALS biggest regret in Euphoria? ›
Cal Jacobs's Monologue From "Euphoria" Season 2, Episode 4
One of the most complex lines of his monologue however, is that his son Nate is his biggest regret.
Amid all of the drama in Euphoria season 2, episode 8, Rue visits Elliot to tell him that she forgives him for letting Jules know that she relapsed and thank him for saving her life. In response, Elliot then takes out a guitar and plays Rue a song that he's been working on.How long is triangle of sadness? ›
To summarize this film is to present a solid argument that it's one of the most unusual ever made: “Belladonna of Sadness,” making its New York premiere on Friday, is a 1973 Japanese erotic animated musical inspired by the 19th-century French historian Jules Michelet's account of witchery in the Middle Ages.How do I watch a decision to leave? ›
- Netflix streaming.
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- Most popular streaming movies.
- Certified fresh movies.
- Browse all.
No full frontal nudity. One short sex scene at the beginning. It is not graphic, but the sexual movements are obvious.Why is The Crying Game Rated R? ›
Parents need to know that The Crying Game contains strong sexual themes and includes full-frontal male nudity, making out with groping and kissing, and oral sex off camera.Why is the square Rated R? ›
Parents need to know that The Square is an intelligent, award-winning dark comedy about art, society, and crime, but it's not for kids. There's a sex scene with nudity (bare breasts), non-graphic but intense violence (with a big lead-up), and strong language ("f--k" and more).What was the point of the movie Triangle? ›
An additional interpretation of the story is that Jess actually died in the car crash, and the time loop of eternal punishment is her version of Hell. She's being punished for abusing her special needs son and is now trapped in this reality forever doomed to repeat her fatal actions.What happens at the end of triangle? ›
Everyone Dies But Jess, End Of Loop
Greg-3, before he dies, tells them that Jess-? shot him (we'll get to who this Jess is later on). From above, a masked person shoots both Downey-3 and Sally-3 and kills them. Jess-3 escapes and is chased by the masked person.
Tyrannical religious depictions aside, parents will undoubtedly be concerned over the portrayals of cruelty and violence. Lyra is in peril for most of this film, and is fearful of adults. Other scenes show children locked in steel cages while bolts of electricity attempt to separate them from their daemon.Is Sadness a guy or a girl? ›
Sadness is the sixth female deuteragonist of Pixar. The other five are the Princess Atta of A Bug's Life, Dory from Finding Nemo, Elastigirl from The Incredibles, EVE from WALL-E, and Queen Elinor from Brave.Why did Sadness end up being important? ›
The hero of this story was Sadness. Sadness taught Joy that all our emotions serve a purpose. Without even realizing it, Sadness reminded Joy that feelings give us information about our experiences, and about other people's experiences. They clue us in to life's challenges and rewards.
And I guess Sadness touching the memory is a manifestation of nostalgia, sadness induced by remembering a good time that passed. Think of it as a memory of a dear friend or family member who went away or passed away, before the event the memory could make you smile, after that it brings tears to your eyes...What is the plot of The Sadness? › Is The Sadness disturbing? ›
Graphic Content Warning: The subject matter of this film may be incredibly distressing and upsetting, especially with the recent violent events in our country, and the ongoing pandemic. Reader and viewer discretion is advised. Horror fans have some morbid curiosities.What is the virus in sadness? ›
On the surface, The Sadness is another pandemic-inspired horror movie. The specter of COVID hovers over The Sadness in the form of the Alvin virus, an airborne sickness that focuses on the limbic region of the brain.What is Belladonna of Sadness based on? ›
Belladonna of Sadness was adapted from French historian Jules Michelet's novel La Sorcière and was the third film in the trilogy Animerama started by Japanese manga and anime legend Osamu Tezuka.What organs are affected by sadness? ›
Sadness affects the Lungs,61 the Liver,62 and the Heart and may influence the functional relationship between these organs. Sadness and grief induces Heart and/or Liver Blood Deficiency and may also impact the functions of the Uterus.What is the number one cause of sadness? ›
There's no single cause of depression. It can occur for a variety of reasons and it has many different triggers. For some people, an upsetting or stressful life event, such as bereavement, divorce, illness, redundancy and job or money worries, can be the cause. Different causes can often combine to trigger depression.What can trigger sadness? ›
Common sadness triggers:
Endings and goodbyes. Sickness or death of a loved one. The loss of some aspect of identity (e.g., during times of transition at home, work, life stages) Being disappointed by an unexpected outcome (e.g., not receiving a raise at work when you expected it)
After being raped by the King, she seeks Jean to comfort her. This is too much for Jean to deal with. His first response is to choke Jeanne. If this was supposed to be a mercy killing or Jean punishing Jeanne for sleeping with another man is unclear.Who is the protagonist in the sadness? ›
It begins with the two main protagonists, Jim (Berant Zhu) and Kat (Regina Lei), waking up before each goes to their respective jobs. This is a sweet and caring moment before the movie takes a violent turn.
Created during the Japanese feminist movement of the early 1970s, Belladonna of Sadness is a second-wave feminist film, and it's impossible to talk about Japan's women's liberation without discussing the ideas of Tanaka Mitsu, arguably its most prominent leader.Where does The Sadness take place? ›
It stars Berant Zhu and Regina as a Taiwanese couple who attempt to reunite amidst a viral pandemic that turns people into homicidal maniacs.Why is triangle of sadness rated R? ›
Written and directed by Ruben Östlund. 149 minutes. Rated R for some sexual content and language.