Tuesday, December 25, 2018

The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Movie Name: The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Year of Release: 2017
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Starring: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Barry Keoghan, Raffey Cassidy, Sunny Suljic, Alicia Silverstone, Bill Camp
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8 
Watch it on Amazon

Synopsis and Review:
After the critical success of "The Lobster", director Yorgos Lanthimos returned with another disturbing tale, which made its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival (where it won the award for best screenplay). The film follows the story of Dr. Steven Murphy, a respected medical surgeon  who lives a peaceful life with his beautiful wife and two children. Steven we come to know, has made friends with the son of a former patient who passed away, by the name of Martin. Martin visits frequently, and ingratiates himself in the family of Steven. Things take a sinister turn, when Martin explains that Steven will have to make a decision on whom to sacrifice within his family unit. He states that's the only way to balance life, since he believes Steven was responsible for the death of his father, and therefore restitution must be placed. Odd things start occurring to the Steven's children, who suddenly stop being able to use their legs, which according to Martin, is only going to escalate to something worse, before they finally die. 
Yorgos Lanthimos films are surreal tales that always expose the anguish of relationships between people (parental, romantic, familial), and how far people are willing to go to maintain the sense of composure and normalcy that they deem adequate. His stories and universe typically goes in the direction of unsettling scenarios, but all these tropes are allegories for what life actually is comprised of. "The Killing of a Sacred Deer" is at times, eerily similar in tone to Todd Haynes' "Safe", since the story starts going in an unexpected direction, but Lanthimos' definitely takes a much darker tonal mode, one that surfaces the human fallibility, and how consequences of actions are never actually measured, until one is confronted with them. It's a beautifully realized film, with strong performances from Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman and Barry Keoghan (who is indeed a revelation), and featuring a stunning cinematography from Thimios Bakatakis. An impeccable film from a truly unique voice in cinema.