A fashion model celebrity couple join an eventful cruise for the super-rich.
Models Carl and Yaya are navigating the world of fashion while exploring the boundaries of their relationship. The couple are invited for a luxury cruise with a rogues’ gallery of super-rich passengers, a Russian oligarch, British arms dealers and an idiosyncratic, alcoholic, Marx-quoting captain. At first, all appears Instagrammable. But a storm is brewing, and heavy seasickness hits the passengers during the seven-course captain’s dinner. The cruise ends catastrophically. Carl and Yaya find themselves marooned on a desert island with a group of billionaires and one of the ship’s cleaners. Hierarchy is suddenly flipped upside down, as the housekeeper is the the only one who knows how to fish.
Winner of the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, what does that tell you? Pretentious arthouse crap only the most snobbish film connoisseurs can truly pretend to enjoy, right? And, as typical for many of those artsy fartsy films the director Ruben Östlund is a Swede. 😮
Well, ToS starts like one of those art for art’s sake masterpieces but transforms into a lively satirical comedy pretty soon. This is good … but this is also where my criticism starts.
I haven’t viewed any of Ruben Östlund’s former movies, and even if I had knewn about them I wouldn’t have watched. His oeuvre doesn’t appeal to me. And if ToS had continued the way the first part of the movie was going I’d switched off pretty soon. Honestly. There is only so much first world problems I can take at a time. For example the all encompassing question of why does a male model has to pick up the restaurant bill when his female model, making three times as much money, expects a free meal all the time. If you’re interested in such conflicts, please discuss this at your own discretion but – for the love of fuk – don’t make a movie about it! Don’t even let your actors fight over that shit in two, much too drawn out, scenes.
Our fashionable models/influencers fortunately find themselves on a luxury yacht, cruising unspecified waterways (filmed on location in Greece), with a whole boatload (see what I did there?) of the most assholic passengers and crew ever invented for film. These aren’t even fully realised characters but cartoons, over the top plot vehicles.
There is the Russian shitseller and his champagne and people abusing wife, the British arms dealer and his naive wife, a rich loner and some other highly unlikely and unlikeable crazy rich idiots.
The cruise ends in a premeditated and very unrealistic catastrophe and all survivors find themselves marooned on some (again unspecified) island. After the short, as entertaining as unrealistic, cruise scenes, the movie doesn’t seem to know what to do with its personnel. Maybe that was made intentionally, since the highly impractical rich folk wouldn’t know how to survive on that beach all by themselves and spend their time with bickering and complaining and fighting over scraps.
Yes, we got it by now: All those people are insufferable aholios in a artificial emergency situation. Some shots and scenes hammer it into our brains but … jolly gosh, Östlund, did you have to make a 2.5 h long mega movie if this was all you had to convey? 2.5 h for a story you could have told in 15 minutes. And for greater effect I’d say.
Oh, and another thing arthouse flicks are famous for: They re-animate former actors of local fame whose stars have long sunk. In ToS we see 2 German actresses well beyond their years of sexyness. Sunnyi Melles and Iris Berben are very talented and play their parts well … but why? You wanted to find your personnel in the most obscure places just to show how deeply you are involved in the arts community, Mr. Östlund?
CONCLUSION: Don’t ever trust arthouse filmmakers. Not even the new breed, the chic and fashionable movie crowd. They lure you in with revolutionary new themes and plot structures, only to betray you in the end. 😦
And don’t trust the film critics neither! The few reviews we watched sounded like those experts had watched maybe 5 movies in all their life.
We found ToS to be rather shallow, pretending to be something it truly isn’t. In the end Östlund didn’t satirize his cartoonish characters but only his own movie.
Hilarious satire? If you think Mad Magazine is satire you might be right.
Woody Harrelson at his best? He played what Harrelson plays best, an unhinged, unapologetically irresponsible drunkard. He did it very good, in the few scenes he was in. But no Oscar for him.
Shocking scenes at the captains’s dinner? That guy the last person on the planet who’s never watched Monty Python’s Mr. Creosote scene?
I can assure you, what you’ll get to see in ToS is nothing in comparison. 😮