Home Video Hovel: Triangle of Sadness, by Rudie Obias
Ruben Östlund’s Triangle of Sadness was a smash hit with film critics and general audiences alike, in 2022. In fact, the film was nominated for Best Picture, while Östlund was nominated for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay during the 95th Academy Awards. Meanwhile, Triangle of Sadness also won the Palme d’Or during the 75th Cannes Film Festival. Needless to say, this film was one of the best from 2022.
While it’s available to stream on Hulu, the Swedid black comedy is also available from the Criterion Collection on DVD, Blu-ray, and in glorious 4K Ultra HD (which also comes with the Blu-ray release). And it’s worth a pickup, if you want to watch the film at home in the best picture and audio quality possible.
Triangle of Sadness follows Carl (played by Harris Dickinson), a struggling male model, and Yaya (played by the late Charlbi Dean), a very successful celebrity model and social influencer, as they navigate through wealth and privilege in three parts—in the fashion industry, on a luxury yacht for the super wealthy, and on a deserted island. While power dynamics shift from one location to the other, themes of Capitalism and Socialism remain the same throughout. It’s a wild satire of the mega-wealthy and the people who serve them.
In one of the releases bonus features, Swedish filmmaker Johan Jonason (Behandlingen) interviews Östlund about the film’s themes and approach to making Triangle of Sadness. Östlund describes creating the film through character’s behaviors and situations—which give it a narratively loose feeling—while the exploration of sexuality as currency is another powerful theme throughout. This is very effective when you consider the main characters and their occupations, while dynamics are switched in the back-half of the film.
The release also features a behind the scenes look during a challenging day during production (you can imagine what’s being chronicled when the term “wave of shit” is used), while another bonus feature is a sizzle reel of the film’s VFX work—which is a surprising amount. Fun fact: About 83 percent of Triangle of Sadness contains some sort of VFX element.
The Criterion Collection release has a film trailer and 12-minute supercut of deleted scenes, which fleshes out character dynamics and relationships on the yacht and island. There’s also deleted scenes for a subplot with Carl and Yaya’s would-be engagement. The release is rounded-out with an essay titled “The Captain’s Dinner Is Coming Up” by film critic A. S. Hamrah (The Baffler, Bookforum Magazine, n+1, and Harper’s Magazine), which gives keen insight on entitlement and wealth. “Like Yaya, in this movie nothing lets up,” writes Hamrah.
Overall, this Criterion Collection release is a wonderful edition with a brilliant 4K picture quality and 5.1 surround sound HD audio. Hopefully, Ruben Östlund’s other films—like The Square, Force Majeure, Involuntary, and Play—will get this treatment one day too, but for now, Triangle of Sadness satisfies.