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Friday, June 10, 2011

Dogtooth (Κυνόδοντας)



First of all I want to make clear that the fact that I'm Greek has nothing to do with this review. In general I believe that 95% of artistic production that comes from Greece is utterly garbage but thankfully there are a few shining exceptions. One of these is Dogtooth (Kynodontas). A film that got an Oscar nomination (best foreign film) for Greece after some decades and won Un certain regard award at Cannes festival. Ofcourse the awards and nomination cannot gurantee anything so let's take a look why this is one of the best greek movies of the last decade, and good enough to be in the Oscars ceremony.






The movie focuses on a pretty weird family. Father, Mother, Older daughter, Younger daughter and Son (we never get to know their names). Father is probably the owner of a factory and the only one we see getting out of the family house. The rest of the family live completely isolated from the outside world in a house, where they raise their children by teaching them that if they get out of the home bountaries they will die. They teach and shape them exactly how they wanted to be, pure, untouched by the outside world, protected; the fear of the outside they implant in them is the reason that keep the kids from escaping. The scenes where the parents teach their children various things are the main reason why this movie is also categorised as dark comedy, especially the language part which is a very good example where this movie wants to go. The parents take some words that would be totally unknown to their children such as the word zombie (because there is no TV in the house) and give it a totally different meaning, in the zombie example they teach them that they are a king of small yellow flowers. This may seem a bit funny on the surface but if you think about it a bit more the idea has its roots in George Orwell's 1984, where thοse who had the power were using techniques to change the language with the long-term effect of re-shaping the minds of their people.





This is in my opinion the main theme of the movie, it's not another movie about a dysfunctional family, it goes deeper to the core of the power and those who have access to it, how people use it, how do they disguise their power on others with words like "teching", how far can the shaping of ones children can go without being oppressive and questions like that. Finally the story transforms in a Genesis-like allegory when Christina (a girl employee on the Father's factory, the only outsider allowed into the house to help Son to relief his sexual urges as he's on his twenty's) gives to the older daughter some movie videotapes and by doing that she plants the seed of revolution to the house. Ofcourse this allegory relates to the whole power debate I mentioned before and in the end the main corrosive factor is sex.



Provocative, bizzarre and deeply symbolic (the scene where the Father speaks to the dog trainer is probably one of the most importand scenes of the film), not recommended for anyone as it is pretty unpleasant and messed up at some points, but it delivers perfectly, throught Lanthimos' great directing and the near perfect acting by the cast. Not much to add, heavily recommended if you're into a bit more "weird" and "artsy" stuff, totally deserved the nomination in my opinion and I hope we see many more good movies like this one coming from Greece!

4/5

PS1: I've seen a bit of controversy about my last review (i expect much more about this one, lol) so I decided to change my reaction buttons to agree/disagree, use them, I really wanna know your opinion too :)

PS2: I found a list of my top-20 movies of the last decade I've posted on another forum so i thought I'd probably post it here with a small review for each movie, should I do it? And if yes how would be the ideal format in your opinion? One post for each movie would make this a bit long so I thought something like 3 movies per post and one movie per post for the top 5, please tell me your opinion on the comments.




20 comments:

  1. I hope this movie reaches my country. Not many european films do, and Hollywood can be tiresome

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  2. Nice review, I'm definitely going to check this film out.

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  3. Oh, this looks really good! I think I am going to go out and watch it now.
    Excellent blog! Followed.

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  4. Man i hate weird movies :I they make me feel so uneasy.

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  5. I really must watch this movie, I've only heard great things about it.

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  6. I've heard about Dogtooth already, it's always good to see that some foreign movies make it to the oscars.

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  7. Hmm, You got me hooked, gonna take a look at the movie.
    PS: following ya :)

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  8. saw this a while back and i really liked it!

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  9. Wow, that was sorta.. odd, but deep. I'd like to hear more, I really would.

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  10. I wanna see it now. Maybe I can find it subbed.

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  11. Never heard of it, but I will check it out. I'm running out of good films.

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  12. This movie seems too arty for me.

    That blind folded chick in the pool was hot, lol.

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  13. Baw, not sure if want... :(

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  14. Nice review! I actually saw this on netflix its on my list to watch... does sounds strange though but that can be a good thing :)

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  15. I haven't seen this or even heard of it, but it seems pretty interesting. I'll look for it on netflix :)

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  16. It sounds pretty good, although I'm still a little doubtful.

    I'll definetly give it a go though, because of your article =3

    Nice blog, keep up the hard work. Followed.

    Take a look at my blogs sometime if you get the chance:
    http://serenityindex.blogspot.com/

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  17. With this review its surprising looks very interesting so i rly thing ill watch this!

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