Triangle of Sadness: Vanity At Sea

A Triangle of Sadness refers to the area between your eyebrows in which stress and, for lack of a better word, sadness are said to be carried, specifically within the world of modeling. That is all according to director Ruben Ostlund. In his Palm d’Or award (the top award presented at Cannes Film Festival) winning 2022 film Triangle of Sadness he uses the term to explore the hardships brought on within the modeling world, and how that status changes how we view our own social place. When tragedy strikes and roles are flipped, our cast of characters must find a way to stay alive and relevant in their now small world.

Yaya (played by the late Charbli Dean Kriek) and Carl (Harrison Dickinson) are a young couple on the brink of implosion. Carl, a model trying to make a name for himself, seems jealous of Yaya’s success in the same field. Yaya sees herself as above average and expects the parts of the world she can control to bend to her whim. On the other hand, Carl is trying to find his way to love and success while taking on characteristics of anger and jealousy. The two board a luxury cruise with many other affluent attendees, their jobs ranging from fertilizer sales to arms dealers. The crew practically pulled from the reality show Below Deck must endure the never-ending requests from the guests in hopes of making a decent tip. The ones genuinely keeping the ship in shape go unnoticed by guests, with no gratuity included. But all that changes when the yacht capsizes in an unknown location, and the few surviving guests and crew mates must find a way to survive. Tensions begin to run high as statuses are reset, and new leaders are put into place. 

Now, I’d like to take a moment to examine the film’s ending. I promise I won’t go into any spoilers. However, it is left ambiguous enough to let imagination run. I appreciate that it took the risk of not having a clear ending and letting the viewer decide when the story ends. However, if this storytelling device does not usually suit your fancy, I recommend sticking with The White Lotus

I usually go deeper into the ideas explored with social status and superiority, but I prefer to leave that to the film itself. I want to ensure that every secret is kept under wraps until you have seen it! I still haven’t needed to bring up the captain! I highly recommend viewing the movie for yourself. The caustic and satirical tone emphasizes what’s being told. That is precisely what is needed in the arts. Please have a nice day, and make sure you know your place.

2 responses to “Triangle of Sadness: Vanity At Sea”

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