Beatriz, holistic medicine practitioner is stranded at a client's house and becomes a somewhat unwilling guest at a snooty dinner party that evening. A difference of thoughts and opinions causes her to be a thorn in the side of the hosts and their invited guests.
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Dissatisfied with the ending but still an interesting topic and enjoyable watch
This film is better than its current rating.
I read comments saying that it depicted a bunch of stereotypes of super rich people. But some of them proceeded to confess that they didn't know any super rich people themselves, so...
Kathy, the wife of a rich businessman, who invites Beatriz to stay in her house for dinner, is actually a pretty nice person. Ignorant and probably subconsciously denying the truth about her husband's and Doug's dirty business but still an overall ordinary person, just like most people around us and ourselves who are fortunate enough to live in 'the free world' and refuse to admit we have anything to do with the third world's historical and ongoing suffering.
Another important thing is that this story sets in only less than a day and is told from the perspective of the protagonist Beatriz who is a working-class immigrant, AKA Alice who accidentally steps into the Wonderland of the upper class world and is quietly going 'what the heck is this place and these weird people who keep pretending I'm invisible' during the first half of the film. It's actually very funny, especially if you awkwardly find yourself relating to those fancy rich people more than Beatriz. I think that was the scriptwriter's intention all along.
Frankly, now I just roll my eyes almost every time I hear complaints about poor people blaming rich people for 'their problems', women blaming men about 'their problems', black people blaming white people for 'their problems' in films. Why? Essentially because those films included antagonists who are rich, or men, or white.
I even remember reading similar comments about Wonder Woman which conveniently ignores the fact that Wonder Woman's love interest is a surprisingly open-minded military guy (more than a bit unrealistic for his time) and not to mention her other new friends, most of them male, who are also very likable characters. I wonder what films can possibly satisfy those who can't bare the sight of any regular sexist guy who understandably embodies the social norms (however problematic they are) of their time, or our time. A film about Harvey Weinstein's scandal is gonna come out in the future and some people are gonna hate it so much. And the presence of positive male characters are still not gonna save it from being called another man- hating piece of rubbish. And of course those actresses who are sexually harassed or assaulted are to be blamed, unlike the children in Spotlight whose circumstances are SO essentially different. Women and poor people are definitely two special groups who are mainly responsible for all of 'their problems'.
Beatriz at Dinner is not about slut-shaming rich people. If the mere depiction of morally ambiguous characters (minus Doug who is...let's just say not that ambiguous) equals stereotyping and hating rich people, then I give up. This film sucks. The Big Short sucks. The wolf of the wall street sucks. And so does any film that criticises capitalism and, in this case, its very real consequences of environmental damage and people, domestically and abroad, who suffer from the systematically sanctioned and normalised oppression and mass harm.
I do think the ending is pretty anticlimactic and in an unnecessary way. I won't spoil anything but because Beatriz is herself a morally ambiguous character (who we only thought we knew because she's a massage therapist who likes animals and saves Kathy's daughter from cancer) who has a past we don't know that much about, I think it is perfectly fine to just stop at that climactic scene towards the end and let that be the ending. It could potentially take the depth of the film, at least as I understand it, to a higher level and stimulate more discussion about the important issues raised in it.
I am a thriller junkie and the ending is what stops me from calling this film a thriller-that-pretends-to-be-drama, which is a bit of a shame. I still enjoyed it from start to (almost) the end. One thing that stands out to me the most, more than a month after watching it, is actually a song performed by Beatriz after the dinner. It still resonates with me and possibly also those super rich characters in the film who, like me, cannot even understand its lyrics.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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