DogtoothFeature Film |
Lanthimos presents a disturbing vision of overprotective parents and their adult children.
Greek writer-director Yorgos Lanthimos's Dogtooth examines a strange, insular world of misinformation and well-meaning abuse. With no exposition, we are thrown into the vast and remote gated estate of a nameless family. Young adults now, Older Daughter (Aggeliki Papoulia), Younger Daughter (Mary Tsoni), and Son (Hristos Passalis) have apparently never ventured outside the imposing gates surrounding their home. Father (Christos Stergioglou) and Mother (Michele Valley) have kept them terrified of the dangers of the outside world, and strictly limited their knowledge, from human sexuality to definitions of simple, but potentially troubling, words such as "sea" and "highway." The children are constantly trying to entertain themselves with inane competitions and games. Father occasionally brings home Christina (Anna Kalaitzidou) to satisfy Son's sexual needs, but she also brings the corrupting influence of the outside world into their sanctum. Dogtooth is a unique film, unsettling in its unexpected violence and perversity, and sardonically funny in its odd displacements and incongruities. The affectless performances and slightly off-kilter camerawork add to the otherworldly feeling of the family home. Lanthimos's depiction of the extreme measures these parents take to "protect" their children is quirkily entertaining and metaphorically rich. His oblique style doesn't offer clear answers, but it does raise fascinating questions about authoritarianism, patriarchy, and what we lose when we shut out the world.