“A Russian capitalist. And an American capitalist. On a two hundred-fifty-million-dollar luxury yacht.”
These words pronounced by Dimitry, a stupid rich resident of an infamous yacht, only capture a fraction of the absurdity of Ruben Östlund’s Triangle of Sadness. I usually do not openly react while watching movies (rarely laugh, hardly cry), but this was a rare gem where even when I thought I couldn’t be surprised anymore, a Captain’s dinner or a shipwreck proved me wrong. I laughed, I gasped. I paused the movie to collect my thoughts. So, what made Triangle of Sadness such an epicenter of emotions?
First, the satire. When you put grotesquely rich people on a luxurious yacht, you know you’re getting a spectacle. As an avid watcher of White Lotus, this movie did not disappoint. Similarities were omnipresent. My personal favorite? The old woman constantly talking about cleaning the sails that were apparently “dirt gray” reminded me of Shane’s constant supplication for a new room in Season 1 of The White Lotus.
Second, the conversations. I am particularly entertained in movies where deeply rooted critics and themes are shared through hilarious dialogues. The captains’ and Dimitry’s “quote battle” had me on the floor, but the issues they were addressing were extremely pertinent. The irony of the crazy Russian’s conversation with the boat crew, trying to “bond” with them but basically just ending up reaffirming her superiority was even more striking.
“I command you, enjoy the moment.
– What? you say no to me?
– No. No.”
My favorite element is when everything goes to shit. The tipping point—literally—is perfection. During the captain’s dinner, the camera slowly tilts from left to right as if trying to embody both the ship’s movement and the upcoming shift in roles between high and lower class. The plates of caviar and the silver cutlery shake. And, as a beautiful closing act, there is the regurgitation.