By Leah Shore
I am a huge fan of bizarre, disgusting, and ultra-violent films, and I am on a constant search to see the newest and weirdest ones out there. Dogtooth by Yorgos Lanthimos actually disturbed me, which takes a lot for me to admit.
Violence, incest, the mentally ill and even some bizarre dark comedy makes this film a unique commentary on paradise and family roles.
This Greek, Oscar-nominated film is about a family living in a secluded estate. The parents raised and brainwashed their three children (they were supposed to be in their teens, but looked like they were in their mid-twenties (at least)) into never leaving the premises. They concoct a strange story to bribe them and give them an inkling of hope telling the children that when your dogtooth (that pointy tooth that looks like a vampires tooth) falls out you are allowed to leave the house and venture into the unknown. Only the father ever leaves to go work. The children have no interaction with the outside world except a security officer at the father’s work that is brought in solely for sex with the son.
The cinematography is beautiful, painting-esque and light with a fuzzy pastel flair, making the landscape look lush and majestic even though it is a jail for the children. It’s like a warm Narnia.
The acting is superb with the actors effortlessly producing a range of emotions. There’s even some bizarre comedy particularly in one scene where the two girls perform a dance for their parent’s anniversary. They dance in unnatural, skittish, interpretive movements. It goes beyond humor though, because one of the girls continues to move and dance until its uncomfortable for everyone.
Dogtooth is by far one of the top 5 films that I have seen in the past two, yes TWO years, and so memorable a film I only need to see once! Its eerie ideals, brilliant filmmaking, and acting make this a provocative story that’s original in every way. SEE IT.