"On a flimsy framework of reality the imagination spins, weaving new patterns"
It's very much a tale of strategic and dramatic construction, with echoes of Laclos and Barry Lyndon.
Cinematography, lighting and production design are immaculate. While the first half is deliciously and bizarrely vivacious, by the time the film ends we are deep into the realm of emotional tragedy, something I was not anticipating at all: there's something emotionally astonishing and horrifying about how these characters are depicted and rendered that I have never seen in a Lanthimos picture.…
I think the issue with this is the lack of balance. I understand the will to exasperate certain aspects of the plot to obtain a stronger reaction. If you want to tackle into violence as strongly as in this case, though, you need empathy to ground it, context to let it breathe. And there is absolutely no context here, no characterization, nothing to hold on to. Ultimately all the film amounts to is an accumulation of nihilism, with no thematic…