Triangle of Sadness review: Last year's Cannes Palme d'Or winner will leave you deep in thought! 

Sakshi Sharma
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Triangle of Sadness

This year's Cannes jury president and last year's Palme d'Or winner, Ruben Östlund's film Triangle of Sadness is available to watch on SonyLIV!

Ruben Östlund, Palme d'Or winner made quite the news last year with his absurdist comedy social commentary film, Triangle of Sadness. The witty satirical film is divided into three parts, rather chapters, explores topics like the intricacies of gender dynamics, the shallow conscious blindsided-ness of the rich class, the hateful unfair inequality between classes produced by global consumerism, and more than anything, the contemporary hypocrisy that you and I are all a part of!

The film was released in India across theaters on March 3, 2023, and has recently started streaming on SonyLIV. It was also nominated for the Academy Awards for Best Picture. It is made in three parts starting with an exploration of the modeling world, which is as hollow and shallow as the exceptionally high rich class that comes later on. Carl and Kayla are the two top models in their respective industries who are dating each other. But can a male model ever be at the top in a modeling industry that is dominated by women? Well Carl's insecurities with Kayla and her earning more than him speaks all about it. And Kayla's manipulation tactics don't help either! The first part ends with both of them learning about how they can utilize each other in the best possible way like for their Instagram following.

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The second part of the film starts with Carl and Kayla winning tickets for a cruise. There they witness a variety of snobbish rich brats who are either too oblivious or just want to live in their own bubble. A rich-class wife, who wants to appear as a caring person for the workers, quite literally orders the cruise staff to enjoy swimming even if they don't want to. The unnecessary and senseless conversations that these money-minded people get into, like complaints about minute things like sails of the boat being supposedly dirty, fills up to the brim so much that the film literally makes a metaphor out of it by showing their pots overflowing with their own shit while all of them roll around in it along with their own vomit because of the cruise being wobbly.

Amazingly, apart from the hierarchy between the rich class and service class the cruise staff also has it, where the people who are catering to these snobs are ranked above the toilet cleaners and housekeeping. But things like a pirate attack bring the lowest class of cleaners to the very top of the rank. After the seasickness havoc, the cruise gets destroyed by the pirates who use the same hand grenade that was built by one of the British rich snobs traveling on the cruise. It’s poetic justice in its truest form. Only some of the people survived and are stranded on an island, bringing you to the third and last part of the film where Abigail, a toilet cleaner on the cruise becomes the captain on this island as only she knows how to survive.

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It's a commentary in two ways: first, a woman takes charge and becomes the leader of the pack, bringing everyone to their knees. Second, she is no longer marginalized, ignored, and mistreated by the class who worked for the snobs. Though the end of the film is so ambiguous that it leaves you with a disturbing moral dilemma and the want for more. Triangle of Sadness only works on one principle, a contemporary hypocrisy while telling you about the global, large, and unfair difference between classes because of capitalism. It talks about how people are living their lives dictated by Instagram, how set gender roles do matter in relationships when it comes to money, and also how without it, you are nothing. And most importantly if one class is bogged down too much then it won't take much time for them to turn violent and snatch what they too deserve.

Ruben Östlund's film is surely absurd and maybe not for everyone’s taste but it is one of those films which leaves you with a lot to think about. And without even you knowing each scene makes such a powerful impact on you, begging you to ask questions to yourselves. After all, another purpose of art is to reflect a mirror to the society we all live in, in a way that it makes you want to look inside of yourselves first. And Triangle of Sadness begs us to ask ourselves, are we all living in a bubble where we think we are the ones that are bringing about change whilst generating conversations or are those conversations made according to our own convenience? I wonder if this makes us selfish and contemporary hypocrites who just want to take control of the narrative that isn't even ours instead of being the selfless social changemakers we consider ourselves to be. Well just like the ending of the film the answer lies within you!

Fun fact - The title of the film, Triangle of Sadness is the area between your two eyebrows and above the nose! It’s explained in the very early part of the film, though it stands as the metaphor for the pretentious facade of a face that we maintain without care for the truth. 

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