When slaughterhouse workers Endre and Mária discover they share the same dreams - where they meet in a forest as deer and fall in love - they decide to make their dreams come true but it's difficult in real life.
Set over one summer, the film follows precocious six-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Walt Disney World.
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 show is "The Square", an installation which invites passersby to altruism, 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.
A few days are chronicled in the life of Christian (Claes Bang), a curator of a modern art museum in Stockholm. He faces various challenges, the main one being the loss of his wallet and phone and the consequences of what he does to get them back.
The situation mentioned above is the best one in the movie despite an unnecessary over-the-top dramatic scene in a rain-soaked garbage dump. The film's deepest flaw is that it takes on too many sub-stories that end up just barely touching the surface despite some fascinating scenes in all of them. This takes the viewer in too many directions and leaves a jumbled feeling by the end.
The most renowned scene of the film is one in which a group of wealthy museum patrons are at a dinner and "treated" to a performance artist (Terry Notary) who acts like an ape-human and causes havoc on some of the guests. The scene is brilliantly executed. It is easy for the viewer to feel the fear of the patrons wondering what the beast-man will do next and who his next victim will be. But the major events that took place are never even referred to later on. It's like this scene was an extra short film on the side and had nothing to do with the general narrative.
In some ways, "The Square" resembles "La Dolce Vita": an attractive, self-involved man who is very high on the social scale in a cosmopolitan setting feels a soullessness in his surroundings. Writer/director Ruben Ostlund - who did such a great job with "Force Majeure" a few years ago - shows great potential here as well. His occasional jabs against pretense, especially where modern art is concerned, are more than welcome. But overall, "The Square" might have been great if it hadn't taken on too much.
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