Triangle of Sadness
Review Date: | We discussed: listen here
Synopsis: A celebrity model couple are invited on a luxury cruise for the uber-rich, helmed by an unhinged captain. What first appeared Instagrammable ends catastrophically, leaving the survivors stranded on a desert island and fighting for survival.
My first viewing of this film was my favorite experience at Middleburg Film Festival in 2022. Was able to expose my wife and friends to this film on my home setup 65” Samsung Television with a Samsung A950 soundbar. The picture quality and sound quality while streaming on Apple TV+ is pretty fantastic, and on a rewatch I was really drawn into the sound design, and how those choices purposely matches the story.
The film opens on a group of male models that are being interviewed about being a model and their approach to modeling cheap brands versus expensive brands, and focuses on a single model named Carl, played by Harris Dickinson who eventually is auditioning for the designers. We then cut to Carl having dinner with his girlfriend, Yaya played by Charlbi Dean where they get in a truly uncomfortable fight, and eventually after hours they end up back in their hotel room, and Yaya admits she manipulates everyone and Carl vows she will truly fall in love with him.
The second act opens with Carl and Yaya lounging on the deck of a super luxury yacht, and the story unfolds that they were invited on this trip because of their status as influencers. We start meeting characters from the crew of the yacht and the passengers, eventually getting our bearings when the head of staff Paula played by Vicki Berlin, after letting the crew know that they have to do whatever the guests want, and they will get big money in the form of tips, heads to the captain’s room to prepare for the Captain’s dinner. The captain is belligerent, argumentative and won’t open the door, eventually Paula gives up and says she will return later to discuss further. We start to meet more and more of the passengers including an older couple that it eventually unfolds that they made their money by making weapons all the way back to World War I. Yaya and Carl are eating at a table with what we evetually find out is a Russian oligarch who named Dimitry played by Zlatko Buric and his wife Vera played by Sunnyi Melles. Dimitry steals the next 10 minutes of the film by discussing how he became an oligarch by being a manure dealer, and that Carl & Yaya paid for their tickets with their good looks. Eventually Paula, convinces the captain played by Woody Harrelson to sober up and be ready for the captain’s dinner. The yacht ends up going through a storm during the captain’s dinner, and many passengers get seasick and it turns into one of the craziest twenty minutes of film I have ever watched. Eventually the ship sinks and that ends the second act.
The final act opens with some of the crew and passengers on a beach, and we are introduced to Abigail that we saw at the beginning of the second act as a crew member cleaning the yacht, and she is played by Dolly De Leon. She is a truly competent person, who understands how to take care of herself and the rest of the survivors, and elevates to the leader, and holder of the true power on the new island. This act is truly a great finale, smart, clever, silly and won’t be spoiled here.
I hope this review convinces you to go and experience this film, it was my favorite in theater experience of 2022, where those of us at Middleburg raucously laughed and groaned together, eventually walked out of an early morning screening, into the sunlight and asking one another if we really just saw that film, in the best possible way.