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The Crack Magazine

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Triangle of Sadness

Director: Ruben Östlund

Stars: Harris Dickinson, Charlbi Dean Kriek, Woody Harrelson, Dolly De Leon, Zlatko Burić, Oliver Ford Davies

While the mega-rich and beautiful may be easy targets for satire, there are striking sequences and great performances in this sprawling, unwieldy triptych from Swedish writer-director Ruben Östlund. The first segment is a typical Östlund depiction of social awkwardness as fashion model and social influencer couple, the thin-skinned Carl (Dickinson) and blithe Yaya (Dean) quarrel over who picks up the bill in a high-end restaurant. The couple have scored free tickets on a cruise on a luxury yacht. Other passengers include Dimitry (Burić) a jovial Russian millionaire who made his lot from fertilizer (this is satire!), and a genteel upper class arms dealer Winston (Davies) and his wife. The captain of the yacht is an increasingly erratic alcoholic Marxist (Harrelson). Midway, Östlund delivers a show stopping explosively scatological & vomit-sodden take on Bunuelesque bourgeois satire as the yacht hits a storm just as the passengers are having their evening meal. In the wryly amusing but overstretched final act, the passengers’ statuses are upended by a radical shift of circumstances. It’s cheeky, and frequently very funny, but the bludgeoning satire grows a little wearing over an extended two-and-a half-hour running time. 

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