In a dystopian near future, single people, according to the laws of The City, are taken to The Hotel, where they are obliged to find a romantic partner in forty-five days or are transformed into beasts and sent off into The Woods.
Three teenagers are confined to an isolated country estate that could very well be on another planet. The trio spend their days listening to endless homemade tapes that teach them a whole new vocabulary. Any word that comes from beyond their family abode is instantly assigned a new meaning. Hence 'the sea' refers to a large armchair and 'zombies' are little yellow flowers. Having invented a brother whom they claim to have ostracized for his disobedience, the über-controlling parents terrorize their offspring into submission. The father is the only family member who can leave the manicured lawns of their self-inflicted exile, earning their keep by managing a nearby factory, while the only outsider allowed on the premises is his colleague Christina, who is paid to relieve the son of his male urges. Tired of these dutiful acts of carnality, Christina disturbs the domestic balance.Written by
Not a lot of movies shock me. So I was quite surprised the unsettling impact Dogtooth had on me. A father locks up his 3 children who are in their late teens - early twenties in a large house and they have stayed there all their lives.
The three children are told lies of various degrees. Living totally isolated from the world and in a manufactured universe, they do not react like normal people would. The lack of awareness and exposure makes for very interesting scenarios and reactions.
The film can be pondered upon on several levels. For instance, governments never really tell their people any thing close to the whole truth. Thoughts on these lines - the harms caused by leaving people in the dark are the obvious things one can take back from the movie.
I am very interested in the alternate viewpoint of the parents though. They genuinely thought exposing the children to the world would be harmful for them. While that is not some thing one can possibly agree with, there are some positives which do come out of it in my opinion. For instance, when one of the girls who has never having been exposed to popular culture, dances, she creates some thing unique. As she has not seen any thing before, she is not influences by any thing and creates her own style. That is a positive in my mind.
This is film which is close to a masterpiece. When the film had released, it was panned in The New York Times and received an average review from Roger Ebert. I am quite pleased then, that it is slowly getting appreciation and is ending up in a few best of the year lists as well. This is a must watch according to me. 8.5/10.
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