A documentary which challenges former Indonesian death-squad leaders to reenact their mass-killings in whichever cinematic genres they wish, including classic Hollywood crime scenarios and lavish musical numbers.
Christian is the respected curator of a contemporary art museum, a divorced but devoted father of two who drives an electric car and supports good causes. His next show is "The Square", an installation which invites passersby to altruism, reminding them of their role as responsible fellow human beings. But sometimes, it is difficult to live up to your own ideals: Christian's foolish response to the theft of his phone drags him into shameful situations. Meanwhile, the museum's PR agency has created an unexpected campaign for "The Square". The response is overblown and sends Christian, as well as the museum, into an existential crisis.
I watched "The Square" at the Helsinki Film Festival today. The cast sounded great to me and since it has won the Palme d'Or, I was sure of being up for a treat. However, I waited...waited and waited. 150 minutes passed by and I could not get what I craved for. The social satire felt incomplete and too forced in some scenes, as having too many scenes with beggars, baby cries, noises, dogs barking, phone ringing etc. There could have been so much more. It just repeats itself over and over again.
Moreover, I think it is a humiliation for local actors to be excluded from international posters and replaced by supporting actors like Elisabeth Moss and Dominic West. Also, their fans might be seeking ways to watch this movie although they do not have many scenes and would be thus disappointed. I surely wanted more scenes with Moss, I think she is a terrific actress and her character adds so much colour and vividness to the bleak movie. West is also great, as usual. Claes Bang is capable of leading the movie, he is quite interesting in his manners and glances and makes it easy to tirelessly follow him for 2 1/2 hrs. I like Scandinavian movies and I'm used to their black and bizarre humour, however, I perceived this movie as a modern action movie in comparison to the more calm, dialogue-driven, philosophical and satirical Scandinavian movies. Östlund did not convince me as a clever screenwriter, but his directing is good - as far as the poor screenplay allows it to be.
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