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Ruben Östlund
Woody Harrelson, Harris Dickinson, Charlbi Dean
Ruben Östlund
A fashion model celebrity couple join an eventful cruise for the super-rich.
Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 147 min.
Price: $39.95
Release Date: 4/25/2023

• “Ruben Östlund and Johan Jonason” Featurette
• “Erik the Extra” Featurette
• “Visual Effects Demonstration” Featurette
• 6 Deleted Scenes
• Trailer
• Booklet


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Triangle of Sadness: Criterion Collection [Blu-Ray] (2022)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 30, 2023)

Swedish filmmaker Ruben Östlund made his English-language debut via 2022’s Triangle of Sadness. He did so with a bang, as the movie got an Academy Award Best Picture nomination as well as both Best Director and Best Original Screenplay nods for Östlund himself.

Fashion model Carl (Harris Dickinson) hits a snarl in his career path. He and influencer/model girlfriend Yaya (Charlbi Dean) wind up in a fight, partly due to his struggles with money.

As part of the reconciliation process, Yaya gets them a spot on a luxury cruise populated by the super-wealthy. This dream trip turns into a nightmare when various calamities strike and send the survivors onto a deserted island.

Triangle provides my initial exposure to the films of Östlund – at least directly. I did see 2020’s Downhill, an American adaptation of Östlund’s 2014 flick Force Majeure, but I never watched the original or any of the filmmaker’s other work.

Downhill/Force and Triangle share a focus on social mores among the extremely wealthy. This can feel like an easy target, and I don’t think Östlund brings anything especially fresh to the table with Triangle.

I will give the filmmaker credit for the understated nature of his comedy/satire at least. Though Östlund occasionally paints in broad strokes, most of the material remains low-key and gently absurd.

For instance, the movie starts with Carl at a failed audition. This provides the flick’s title, as a photographer refers to the wrinkles between Carl’s brow as the “triangle of sadness”.

That’s not exactly the height of wit, but Östlund paints the process in a manner that shows absurdity along with how it dehumanizes the models. These scenes score points.

Östlund also brings gentle life to the ridiculousness of the pampered wealthy. In one scene, a passenger orders the captain to clean non-existent sails, and in another, crewmembers must go swimming because another client demands it.

Östlund manages to make good points in these sequences. He depicts the ways the super-wealthy don’t connect to reality and how they see those “beneath them” as little more than anonymous creatures there to serve their whims.

The problem we encounter here is that Triangle proves too slow and it dispenses insights too infrequently. Too often the material seems neither witty nor clever.

The satire doesn’t often bite either. While I don’t demand broad guffaws, Östlund keeps things so subdued that the scenes fail to provoke any real reaction.

I just can’t find a lot of depth here in general, and spoofs of the isolated rich aren’t exactly new. Heck, Triangle hit screens around the same time as The Menu, a darker take on similar themes.

Whereas Menu boasted an “outsider” character who could act as the audience’s proxy, Triangle offers no similar narrative notion. This feels like a mistake.

Though much of the film concentrates on Carl and Yaya, it shifts focus quite a lot and doesn’t settle into a real groove. I feel like the tale would fare better if told from a consistent POV, most likely from a crewmember who could offer some reflection on the absurdity of the passengers.

Instead, Triangle tends to ramble and runs much too long for the content involved. We tire of the shenanigans well before we reach the “ironic” finale.

Triangle never becomes a bad film, but it disappoints. I think a tighter movie with stronger satire would improve it, as this one just doesn’t seem as deep and piercing as it wants to be.

The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B/ Bonus C

Triangle of Sadness appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The film boasted fine visuals.

Sharpness worked well. Virtually no softness emerged in this precise, tight presentation.

No issues with moiré effects or jaggies occurred. I saw neither edge haloes nor source flaws.

The film favored an often amber/orange palette, with a fair amount of blue/teal thrown in as well. Within the stylistic constraints, the Blu-ray reproduced the colors in a favorable manner.

Blacks came across as deep and dense, while shadows appeared smooth and well-developed. The movie offered pleasing picture quality.

In addition, the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio satisfied. Music showed nice stereo presence, while effects added immersive material.

Of course, this became especially true during scenes with severe weather. The various sequences boasted fine use of the side and rear speakers, all of which brought us into the story well.

Audio quality seemed strong. Music was full and rich, while dialogue seemed natural and distinctive.

Effects offered clear elements, with warm, tight lows. Though not a consistently active affair, I still liked the soundtrack for Triangle.

A few extras appear, and we start with a chat between writer/director Ruben Östlund and actor/filmmaker Johan Jonason. Their conversation spans 19 minutes, eight seconds.

The discussion covers story/characters and Östlund’s approach, themes and commentary, cast and performances, connections to his other films and his views on watching in theaters vs. at home. We get decent insights about the film, though the program’s relative brevity limits how much it can reveal.

Erik, The Extra lasts 15 minutes, four seconds and lets us see what producer Erik Hemmendorf dealt with during his stint as a background actor. It provides a fun look behind the scenes.

Next comes a Visual Effects Demonstration that goes for six minutes, 21 seconds. It shows examples from obvious to subtle in this engaging compilation.

In addition to the film’s trailer, we find six Deleted Scenes. These occupy a total of 12 minutes, 46 seconds.

Most of these involve Carl and Yaya, and they seem superfluous. They also make Yaya even colder and more mercenary than she appears in the final cut, which feels like overkill.

As for the rest, they offer minor expansions of the characters. None become memorable.

The package also includes a booklet. It mixes art, credits and an essay from film critic AS Hamrah. It concludes the set on a positive note.

As a social satire, Triangle of Sadness occasionally hits the mark. Unfortunately, the movie seems too long and too superficial to consistently work. The Blu-ray boasts very good picture and audio with a mix of bonus features. Triangle delivers an up and down experience.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 4
0 3:
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