Heading to the Toronto International Film Festival 2022 (TIFF 2022), Triangle of Sadness was the first screening on my list. I went into the film knowing almost nothing about it, aside from Woody Harrelson was in it. To anyone that has asked me about it, I’ve said this: It was an experience. Nothing more, nothing less.
To tell you where this movie goes or anything about plot specifics would do you a disservice. Triangle of Sadness is a movie I quite enjoyed, but one that would lose its impact with each subsequent viewing. Once was enough and it was absolutely memorable.
Triangle of Sadness is broken into three acts, and each explores some sort of social issue. Whether it’s gender roles, class systems, race or politics, each section tackles tough issues, but the message is clear: At our core, people are all the same.
Tackling these issues has been done more times than I can count, usually in a very blatant way. Triangle of Sadness jumped into the conversation and by the end I had to absorb what I’d just seen before I really realized just how many subjects were covered.
Gender roles are tackled between our main couple, Carl (Harris Dickinson) and Yaya (Charlbi Dean). Politics between our Captain (Woody Harrelson) and guest Dimitri (Zlatko Buric), Race between Nelson (Jean-Christophe Folly) and Dimitri again. But perhaps the most prominent social issue covered was the class system, and that was everywhere, from the very first scene.
“…Triangle of Sadness manages to really drive home just how much we are all the same on the inside.”
One of several settings is a yacht with a full house of guests and staff. The struggle there is obvious, but Triangle of Sadness manages to really drive home just how much we are all the same on the inside. People are good, people are bad, power can corrupt, and money isn’t the only thing worth bartering for.
Triangle of Sadness is unique in that it doesn’t just focus on one side of the problem: men or women, rich or poor, etc. We see the story from all sides throughout the film and there is no real hero or villain in the end. Spoiler: We all suck.
Harrelson does what he does best and is both funny and concerning, though isn’t in the film near as much as you’d think. I actually found myself more enthralled with the guests on the ship rather than the main character. Eventually we are introduced to Abigail (Dolly De Leon), and her character arc is something I always love to see. She was funny and commanding, and I’m very glad she was such a prominent part of the third act, even if it was her Lord of the Flies moment.
My only issue with Triangle of Sadness is its length. At 2 hours 27 minutes, it just isn’t packed enough to keep viewers completely engaged. I would call this a film full of conversations, but sometimes they went on just a little too long. Repetition and shock value aren’t the only ways to drive points home, and Triangle of Sadness could have been better if the scenes were tightened up.
An interesting way to kick off TIFF 2022, and a memorable film for sure. Triangle of Sadness is something I would absolutely recommend everyone see once, just make sure you aren’t eating while you watch.