Review: The Square

The Square

The Square

Genre: Comedy, Drama
Duration: 150 Minutes
Language: English
India Release Date: 16-MAR-2018
Pick-D-Flick Rating: 3 on 5

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 exhibit is “The Square”, an installation which invites passersby 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.

Overall Review:
Swedish director Ruben Östlund’s Golden Palm Award-winning film, The Square , addresses the subject of self-confrontation through the transformation of art and culture. The film mixes fresh dialogues in English, Swedish and Danish. Film centres around an obnoxious, entitled museum curator (Christian, played by Claes Bang) who makes more than a few mistakes in promoting his museum’s new exhibition and, on the side, searching for his stolen phone, wallet, and cufflinks. The movie starts well enough but doesn’t know where to go once it gets started, and certainly doesn’t know how to wrap up what it’s laid out. The first half of the movie is brilliant and creative, in the second half you just get run over by Ruben Östlunds full force of artistic fury. Offering few laughs and sad moments, this Swedish film stumbles to earn its long runtime before it gets a few shoulder shrugs and a couple of chuckles. Östlund’s high points come from the performances he pulls from his cast. As the film’s lead, Claes Bang’s Christian tightly rides the line of black comedic brilliance and weirdly constructed dramatic actor. Elisabeth Moss, always impeccable in any medium she touches, is the film’s true standout. As the eccentric journalist Anne, Moss slivers her way into a niche that keeps the film afloat. Dominic West’s brief scene is memorable: Terry Notary’s daring work as a man living as a monkey (in a scene where he has simulated as an ape in a dining room full of elegant diners) is the film’s most enthusiastic and earnest scene that can stand brilliantly as a short film rather than a part of the film’s ultimately flawed structure. On the side of the technique, the film has careful compositions and a detailed eye for art direction and scores with high contrast as well as vivid colors. Background score of the film is promising especially the beats of the initial disco sound that pumps the rich bass into accoustic speakers (be it home cinema OR Dolby ATMOS. All in all, The Square has some great moments and a very disjointed plot.

PDF Verdict:
The Square is an overlong mess of ideas patched together into a two and a half hour long feature that loses its luster due to the lack of clarity of its narrative objectives.

Ratings: 3 on 5
Performance: 4 on 5
Script: 3 on 5
Screenplay: 3 on 5
Music / Background Score: 3 on 5

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