Films

Κυνόδοντας (Dogtooth) (2009)

★★★★★

Director: Giorgos Lanthimos
Stars: Christos Stergioglou, Michele Valley, Aggeliki Papoulia

Three teenagers are confined to an isolated country estate that could very well be on another planet. The trio spend their days listening to endless homemade tapes that teach them a whole new vocabulary. The father is the only family member who can leave the manicured lawns of their self-inflicted exile, earning their keep by managing a nearby factory, while the only outsider allowed on the premises is his colleague Christina, who is paid to relieve the son of his male urges. Tired of these dutiful acts of carnality, Christina disturbs the domestic balance.

One question sums my reaction to this film: What were they thinking when they came up with the idea for the plot?

Kynodontas (Dogtooth) is a 2009 Greek film directed by Yorgos Lanthimos about a husband and wife who keep their children imprisoned on their property into adulthood. The dramedy stars Christos Stergioglou, Michelle Valley, Aggeliki Papoulia, Mary Tsoni and Christos Passalis.

Three teenagers are confined to an isolated estate. The three spend their days listening to endless homemade tapes that teach them a whole new vocabulary, e.g. they call salt shaker “telefono” and they refer to a small yellow flower as “zombie.” The father is the only family member who leaves the estate, earning for thei living by working in a factory. The only outsider allowed on the premises is Christina who works as a security guard at the factory. She is paid to relieve the son of his male urges. Tired of the acts, Christina asks the eldest daughter for some girl-on-girl action in exchange of things, that lead to disturbance of the domestic balance. The eldest forced removed her “dogtooth” in her urge to go outside.

I described it as “iba” (bizzare) but a friend said it is rather “imba” (imbalance). The plot is unbelievable- unbelievably effective! I initially thought I might not be able to watch it alone. Well, I did but too bad I had no one to share my emotions/reaction with while running the film. It’s the type of movie that doesn’t give a damn on what the audience would feel. I agree with a friend who describes the trailer alone as disturbing. It’s actually too morbid (may be gory for others) for kids, hehe. But such weird things is like a magnet that attracts your eyes even if you feel like looking away. As one critic says, “Dogtooth is like a car crash. You cannot look away.” Also, the actors were magnificent!

So I guess see for yourself why this film has been receiving lots of awards. Shocking and funny I will forever applaud the geniuses behind it.

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1 thought on “Κυνόδοντας (Dogtooth) (2009)”

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