directed by Yorgos Lanthimos
starring Colin Farrell , Jacqueline Abrahams, Roger Ashton-Griffiths
Yes, this is a romance. And yes, this is a comedy. And even more yes; it’s a weird and disturbing story of an inexplicable alternate universe where society requires romance. Fail to find it and it’s off to a velvet prison and high-style tortures. Thus David (Collin Ferrel) finds himself in a nice looking hotel, they show him to his room, and they padlock one arm behind his back. Why? Just because. His hotel mates meet for breakfast, dance and hang out around the pool, yet their search for romance feels curiously flaccid. I’ve seen hotter action at Baptist church suppers. At random times of the day the guests are given tranquilizer guns and taken out to capture “loners” who live in the woods outside of society. David eventually escapes and joins them; he his finds love but here it’s forbidden in loner society. Then stuff gets weird…
With gorgeous landscapes and superb this remains a disturbing film with a creepy undertone. The audience laughed nervously from time to time, it winced when blood and betrayal emerged. You really hope David and his lover live happily ever after, although that’s not an option. Animal cruelty appears now and again; it’s all just SFX but still more bothersome than the time they stick a guys hand in a toaster and fry his fingers for the crime of masturbation. sex abounds, but it all feels completely clinical and explicitly un-erotic. Director and co-writer Lanthimos offers a unique vision and it does NOT line up with anyone else working today. The underline device points up society’s power to turn you into a beast; and only love can save you from this fate. Stated like this the concept drives a hundred stories, filmed like this and it echoes the surrealist Buñuel’s Andalusian Dogs.
This film is part ot the 2016 Florida Film Festival