Friday, 23 April 2010

Dogtooth - Cameo - 23/4/10

Readers of a nervous disposition should stop

"Father" and "Mother" have decided, for reasons that are never fully explored, to keep their three children isolated from the real world. To manage this they have spun a web of bizarre lies and half-truths about what lies outside of the walls of their garden. Aircraft which fly overhead are presented as toys to the children, a stray cat is elevated to the status of killer big cat and the notion of chaos reigning outside is ever present.

To satisfy "Sons" burgeoning sexuality "Father" brings home Christina, the security guard at his place of work, who is paid to have sex with him. It is as a result of this that the chaos that the parents tell their children is outside arrives, with gusto, on the inside. Before long all hell has broken loose and the fragile unreality that has been created begins to unravel.

Incest, pornography, self-harm, abuse and all manner of other horrors are here and yet, despite this blacker than black setting, there are moments of real humour and belly laughs. A dance routine that would put both David Brent and Napoleon Dynamite to shame is worth the price of the ticket alone.

"Dogtooth" struck me as being a Haneke film without the lecturing, hectoring tone. A similar sense of disquiet and discomfort can be found in his work but where in the work of Haneke there is no respite from his "message" here director Giorgos Lanthimos manages to give us a strong, clear message about the nature of family and the influences upon it without ever losing the humor that can be found in the darkest of situations.

Not for the faint of heart or the easily offended but for the rest of you there is much to enjoy here.

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