098: Dogtooth (2009)
well, my interest in seeing dogtooth was sparked by three very intriguing posters. the first of which, chronologically speaking, that i saw was the blood face poster. this made me think, hmm, a violent movie, sounds interesting. then the blinded poster, the one featured on the dvd, made me think, wait, what is going on this film, peaking my curiosity. the final one was the minimalist oscilloscope/frequency or whatever the hell it is, but that one rather bored me. this is the way the movie went
boredom -> curiosity -> violence
let me explain myself by first stating that this movie possess some of the most ingenious subtle creepiness know to cinema. the plot circles around a family of five, father, mother, older daughter, younger daughter and son. by eliminating the names of all the characters, a subtlety i failed to notice until halfway through the film, the director denounces the humane attributes of the house and beautifully begins to build a nest of sterile insanity. as the story develops, the viewer is in a constant state of bewilderment and sent to an island of a foreign language and strange customs. in prevention of “bad influences”, father and mother shield their children from any outside contact and establish bizarre set of rules, rewards and punishments that the children are often victims to.
the children are told that they will be allowed to leave the premises when their “dogtooth”, or canine, has fallen out and further will be allowed to learn how to drive when it grows back. when this was said in the film, i couldn’t help but have a family guy flash back. anyways, the educated man would assume that the human canine tooth does not come out, sealing the unfortunate fate of the children into the house of safety
the real thing to drove this film was my minute-by-minute curiosity. even when things are plainly shown, it is hard to calculate what will happen within the schizophrenic family construct. the language, not only being my first Greek language film, but the fantasy lingo that is created within the house is often uncomfortably humorous.
one of my favorite scenes, i did have a lot, was the when father went to go pick up the dog. the entire dialogue is equal parts beautiful and disturbing analogy of the role of the father in the family. throughout the film there is a bunch reference to obedience and dogs in general
the cinematography was very interesting as well, as my girlfriend and i noted that several times the father figure was cut off in the the shot. we thought this was some sort of way to make him anonymous and a general personification of a domineering male figure
my one criticism is that this movie is so fucking slow in the beginning. i was almost tempted to turn it off as i thought i was just watching some super pretentious art film in which nothing will happen and it will win best foreign film at the academy. i am glad i pulled through, but i wish there was a little hint to the madness that followed
this movie is about as strange as they come, without suffering from obscurity. the story is quite engrossing, after getting past the sawdust boredom of the first ten or so minutes, and will envoke a variety of emotions throughout its hour and a half duration. this film strings some really beautiful stuff together, without having to rely on flashy camera-work or pretty colors, rather it displayed bleak minimalism and unsettling normalcies of isolation. the movie features some really unsettling explorations in sexuality as well as abrupt sequences of violence. this flick is not for everyone, by any stretch of the imagination, but for those who see the beauty of the convoluted mind and don’t being lead into dark places, this one will capture your curiosity by its throat until you barking for more