#TIFF22: “TRIANGLE OF SADNESS”
By Nicholas Porteous
A group of vapid rich people and Social Media influencers go on an ill-fated cruise. This is Ruben Östlund‘s second Palme d’Or winner in a row, and all the things that make his work captivating are on full display: dynamic and inventive blocking, an absolutely lavish production, laugh-out-loud moments of excess, and an ensemble of grounded yet deliciously absurd performances across the board.
Unfortunately, his limitations as a Writer are also particularly sharp here. The dominant themes of rich and poor, skilled and inept, culture assigning value to those least deserving, and absolute power corrupting you know what… they’re all rather tired, which would be easier to swallow if the Movie wasn’t an hour longer than it should be.
Structurally, there are a number of odd choices–our presumably lead characters are introduced and fleshed out for the First Act, then basically forgotten for the pivotal middle section. Arguably, the most interesting character of the Film is kept out of the narrative until near the end, and while I understand Östlund might be making a statement by hiding them, it comes at the expense of what could have been a far richer story of personal transformation. He has a habit of leaving the most potentially interesting moments of character development off-camera.
While there is a lot to be enjoyed here–and I would still consider Triangle worthy of your attention–be aware that this lengthy journey out to sea is a shallow one.
TRIANGLE OF SADNESS screens as follows at TIFF ’22:
Tues, Sep 13 IN-PERSON Visa Screening Room at the Princess of Wales Theatre 9:30pm
Wed, Sep 14 IN-PERSON Visa Screening Room at the Princess of Wales Theatre 5:30pm