Posted Mar 16 2018
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The Square - This Movie Rocks Unnervingly

Dir: Ruben Östlund

Starring Claes Bang, Elizabeth Moss, Dominic West, Terry Notary

Östlund’s lengthy latest is a satire on a world that seems to constantly be satirising itself, intentionally or not. Contemporary art is the ostensible target, but the film is concerned as much with the egos and foibles of those that hang things on the walls than what they choose to hang. Bang leads as the self-consumed museum director, whose life starts to unravel in all sorts of often comic ways with the loss of his mobile phone.

Like this, the film is concerned with minor incidents and the way they permeate our lives, for better or worse. As such, it’s a film that feels full of “moments” more than momentum. Some of those moments are funny, wry, heartfelt and at their best downright mesmerising and spectacularly unbalancing. None more so than the film’s stand out near-climactic black tie dinner party in which Terry Notary (presumably as the paid entertainment, but more effective a primal scream of a class war statement) comes on and essentially does his Planet of The Apes act – sans the motion capture and digital make up. (“Class War For The Planet Of The Apes” anyone?) It is a remarkable sequence, edgy and deeply disturbing, that keeps you on the edge of your seat and on your toes both, as it threateningly unfolds. On its own it justifies the occasional longueurs that the rest of the movie has a tendency to fall victim to.

A strong cast adds to the pleasures here, with Bang suitably self-involved. Moss (living with a chimp!) curiously beguiling, and Dominic West providing his second sleaze of the week.

 

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