What happens to society if suddenly the status quo changes? Swedish director Ruben Östlund‘s answer is called Triangle of Sadness.
Triangle of Sadness was presented during the 75th Cannes Film Festival, where it was awarded the Palme d’Or for best film. Since then its success has crossed all borders. From Sweden to France, from France to the world, abetted by a trailer that in just a few seconds already manages to capture the viewer’s attention and catapult them into this critique of modern society watered by champagne and vomit.
Carl and Yaya are two models who decide to take a luxury cruise. During the vacation they get to know the other passengers, without ever really relating to them, until at one point the ship sinks and the survivors find themselves on a deserted island. It is at this point that a role reversal begins, and those who were previously at the top of the social pyramid now find themselves having to work for the only people who really know how they can survive in that circumstance. Some will be able to forget the luxury and adapt to the new status quo, others less so, but the more days go by the more the transformation from human to beast takes place.
Ruben Östlund, however, decides not to take sides and leaves it up to the viewer to decide whether this process of decivilization will be finished or whether there is still hope in human consciousness.
In sharp contrast to the brutality and cynicism of the plot we find a clean and elegant aesthetic, also the child of the work of Fredrik Wenzel, a Swedish cinematographer who also collaborated with Luca Guadagnino on the miniseries We Are Who We Are. Thus, the more critical the situation becomes the more beautiful the image becomes, mesmerizing the viewer.
One piece of advice, however, I will leave you with: watching Triangle of Sadness after dinner may not be the best idea.