If you had to kill one of your loved ones or risk them all dying, what would you do? That’s the question Yorgos Lanthimos is asking in his latest creation of misery, where a doctor who failed to save a patient is trying to make up for his mistake by being kind and supportive of the surviving son. The boy at first just want to talk to him but then forces himself into the doctor’s family. A couple of days after being invited to dinner, his children start to suffer unexplainable illnesses for no apparent reason. Turns out, the boy is somehow responsible, as he explains to the doctor that he now has to choose who to kill in order to save the rest of his family.
I haven’t seen a movie this bleak, cold and nihilistic in a long time. The dialogue is already rather complex as soon a sentence contains a bit of medical jargon or if it features more than just 4-5 words. The characters communicate with each other without empathy, nuance nor emotion. Everyone acts and behaves as if they were clinically depressed. There is no joy to be seen on the screen. No hatred. Almost no signs of any emotion whatsoever. Only dread. Lots and lots of dread. It’s like listening to Lurker of Chalice for two hours straight.
This is what arthouse cinema is all about. Even if ruins the rest of your night.