What happens when a truly equalizing event occurs? Ruben Östlund certainly seems to have something dirty, nihilistic and grimly funny on his mind. sadness triangle it’s a whirlwind of a movie with a punk rock ethos: He doesn’t care if you’re squirming in your seat because he’s got some points to make, no matter how rude. Director Östlund’s latest work always outdoes itself and pushes the audience along the way, with one disgusting sequence in particular becoming Triangle from a direct class comment to a full middle finger at the expense of the rich and powerful.
The story of a crazy luxury yacht trip, Triangle is divided into several parts. The first chronicles the near-zero relationship between Carl (Harris Dickinson, here a shallow, perfect pretty boy) and Yaya (the late Charlbi Dean, who does a wonderful job on this). The couple is a conventionally attractive influencer-model couple and their relationship works well for their Instagram followers and therefore their business. No matter how good they look on each other’s gram, the movie does its best to show us that even here, among beautiful and no doubt well-off folks, there are class tensions to exploit for this year’s most horrific movie dinner.
Eventually, we follow the pair to the yacht, but we also learn about the passengers and crew members on board, learning the hierarchy of the ship. Then all hell breaks loose after a few rough tides, and a boozy dinner transforms the barren, luxurious ship into a vomit-and-diarrhoea-soaked nightmare. Here, the rich eat shit, but they also slip, slip and poke helplessly in it. From here on out, the film takes a turn and drops a handful of passengers into a stranded island setting, where everyone realizes they can’t handle basic survival. All except Abigail (Dolly de Leon), the former head of the ship’s cleaning staff who makes it clear that since she has the experience, she must be in command of it.
Surely, Triangle he is not interested in subtlety. Your mileage can fluctuate with this type of narration, and it can usually seem like a lot, but given the circumstances, the loud, punchy tone works. Thanks to clever writing, darkly funny callbacks, and a powerful performance from de Leon as Abigail, the film holds together seamlessly. De Leon steals the movie, and rightly so. Abigail wields her newfound power with ease and confidence, pleased that she is finally getting the respect she should have. Even if we’re not sure how long her reign will last, it soon becomes clear that she might be willing to shed her humanity for this lust for power. It’s a performance that blew me away, and it would be a shame if she was left out of the awards season conversation.
There is also much more to enjoy here. The dark delights of this film can be found in its soundtrack (a mix of Dance and Punk), other performances, montages of shots and cinematography, and the bold way it tries to talk about power, class, and gender. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, even if the “power” is simply access to a packet of pretzels.