Swedish film by Ruben Ostlund Square puts questions to the viewer every minute, layering them on top of each other. The Director does not give specific answers, every new scene is another mystery. The multi-layered film is amazing, especially when you consider that it belongs to the genre of tragicomedy. Yes, a Square is a fine satire on modern society, the inner conflicts with ourselves here, there are much more than funny moments.
The plot of the film revolves around the opening of the new exhibition at the Museum of modern art. Cut in front of the Museum quadrangle is the center of the exhibition. The intent of the artist it carries a deep meaning. Within a square of indifferent people and given not only equal rights but also responsibilities.
The main character of course becomes the curator of the Museum an intelligent Swede Christian (Class Bang). At first glance, it seems perfect: he is polite, drives a environmentally friendly car Tesla is fighting for the highest values in their shows, but it turns out to be only an illusory appearance. A small incident breaks all notions of the hero. Christian stole a wallet, telephone and grandpa’s cufflinks, and then it tracks the offender and decided on a lynching. The relationship of the spectator to the hero changes from hatred to respect and pity. It is worth noting a good drama: the hero is transformed by the end of the film, having gone through a difficult internal conflict. Ambiguous and deep character.
Östlund has also acted as a writer. The author is not trying to condemn the actions of the protagonist, rather he observes and makes you think, shows regulations in a modern society where people become hostages of social groups and opinions, where everyone is in their own square, not paying attention to others and being afraid to take responsibility.
An interesting approach of the Director to the building plot, which does not seem accurate and neat. Before the audience a series of drawings, which seemingly are not connected with each other. Östlund makes a messy outline that combines themes and perspectives of the paintings. Scene dedicated to contemporary art, was forced to laugh, and sometimes pressed into the chair from fear: the cleaner who accidentally gets rid of part of the installation, thinking it was garbage; the visitor, the patient with Tourette’s syndrome, begins to shout obscenities during a lecture, but the society can not do anything, because the most important tolerance; a provocative video where you blow up a stray girl, it makes people talk. In my opinion, unique is the scene in which the audience watching a performance in the truest sense of the word. Leaders of the Museum come up with unusual entertainment at the dinner in honor of the opening of the exhibition Square. Guests are seated at tables to enjoy intellectual conversation and among the Bohemians, but here begins the performance. Actor Oleg Rogozhin (Terry Notari) depicts a monkey, he walks among the tables, makes animal sounds, showing the primitive instincts. The game is most likely Terry Notari, from his wild and untamed look on the body gives me the shivers, I want to close my eyes as the guests of the event. Episode psychologically affects the viewer, forcing the situation. You catch yourself thinking, when will this all end. The question arises, where is the boundary beyond which art cannot go, or he allowed everything?
The image of the monkey comes back in a funny episode. After a crazy party at the Museum of the hero Klasa Bang see the real monkey in the apartment of the girl journalist with whom he happens casual relationship. Monkey embodies the most primal instincts, which is not alien to man, in whatever social stratum he is in.
In addition, the author raises a huge amount of topics: freedom of speech, humanism, the influence of mass media, tolerance, altruism, political correctness, and more. But the main problem is the falsity of society. It calls for equality and universal well-being, but tries to ignore migrants, and people from the lower strata. Hopelessness fills this film, because one person is not enough to change the world.
The aesthetic aspect of the picture is no worse than the content, although after watching the film, all thoughts are immersed into the story. Ruben Östlund together with the operator Frederick Wenzel finds unusual angles. For three hours the audience sees the square in static and dynamic frames: the stairs, the shadows, the location of installations… This figure surrounds the whole society is the main metaphor of the film. Here the style is traced from the beginning: external characters, scenery and music. The soundtrack combines wonderfully with the visuals, complementing its atmosphere and message.
Intelligent, social, funny and aesthetically finely built “Square” will not leave indifferent and will cause conflicting emotions, but to see it is definitely worth it.
7 out of 10