Carl: So what do you do?
Dimitry: I sell shit.
Director: Ruben Östlund
Writer: Ruben Östlund
Starring: Harris Dickinson, Charlbi Dean, Dolly de Leon, Woody Harrelson

The 2022 film ‘Triangle of Sadness‘ is a black comedy that is presented from the perspective of a European director. The initial half of the film may seem like a joke being told by a foreigner, but as the narrative progresses, it becomes more engaging and meaningful.

The cast of ‘Triangle of Sadness‘ 2022 features an ensemble of talented actors, including Harris Dickinson, Charlbi Dean, Dolly de Leon, Zlatko Burić, Iris Berben, Vicki Berlin, Henrik Dorsin, Jean-Christophe Folly, Amanda Walker, Oliver Ford Davies, Sunnyi Melles, and Woody Harrelson. The actors deliver strong performances, bringing depth and nuance to their respective characters. Harris Dickinson, in particular, shines as the young and ambitious protagonist, while Charlbi Dean delivers a powerful portrayal of the objectified model. The supporting cast also impresses, with Zlatko Burić bringing a menacing presence to his role as the wealthy businessman and Woody Harrelson delivering a memorable turn as a jaded fashion photographer. Overall, the acting and characters in ‘Triangle of Sadness’ are a highlight of the film, contributing to its engaging and thought-provoking narrative.

In ‘Triangle of Sadness‘, Östlund employs an episodic structure to tell three interconnected stories that each center on a different group of characters. The first act follows fashion models Carl (Harris Dickinson) and Yaya (Charlbi Dean), as they navigate their tumultuous and manipulative relationship. In the second act, the story shifts to a luxury yacht, where Carl and Yaya are minor characters amongst a group of entitled passengers. The focus of this act is on the drunken mishandling of the boat by an incompetent captain (Woody Harrelson), as well as the breakdown of order during a violent storm. Despite the initial focus on Carl and Yaya, the second act centers more on the yacht’s passengers and their dynamics.

In the third act of ‘Triangle of Sadness’, some of the yacht’s passengers, including Carl and Yaya, find themselves stranded on a remote island with no knowledge of how to survive. Abigail, the yacht’s cleaner and “toilet manager”, emerges as the key to their survival, using her knowledge of fishing, fire-building, and foraging to take charge. However, as she becomes more powerful, Abigail becomes ruthless, asserting herself as the island’s captain and forcing the others to obey her. Östlund highlights the fragility of social order, demonstrating that the power structures that are often taken for granted in society can quickly unravel when actual skills, knowledge, and experience become the determining factors. This shift in power dynamics underscores the film’s critique of class and wealth, as well as the inherent instability of hierarchies that are based on superficial qualities such as beauty or fame.

Dolly de Leon’s performance as Abigail in ‘Triangle of Sadness‘ is a standout, despite her limited screen time in the first two acts. In the third act, Abigail emerges as a key player in the survival of the stranded passengers on the remote island, using her knowledge and skills to take charge and declare herself the captain. De Leon delivers a captivating performance, portraying Abigail as a complex and enigmatic figure who is both resourceful and ruthless. She dominates the screen, stealing every scene with her powerful presence and command of the situation. Her performance highlights the experiences of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), who are often marginalized and relegated to menial jobs, despite their education and skills. De Leon’s portrayal of Abigail is a powerful example of the shifting power dynamics that can occur in situations where actual skills and experience matter more than social hierarchies based on wealth, beauty, or fame.

The 2022 film ‘Triangle of Sadness‘ is a black comedy that explores a variety of themes, using narrative codes and conventions to construct meaning and offer a critique of modern society. The film represents class struggles through visual contrast and character archetypes, highlighting the stark differences between the wealthy and the disadvantaged. Rich influencers and rich people are portrayed through character development and dialogue, demonstrating their influence and power in modern society. The film also explores themes of sex, identity, and gender roles, using visual codes such as framing, lighting, and camera angles to reinforce patriarchal stereotypes. The portrayal of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) challenges traditional media representation, with a focus on their marginalization and invisibility. Overall, the film’s use of narrative codes and conventions serves to construct meaning and offer a thought-provoking critique of modern society, highlighting the power structures and struggles that exist within it.


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