- 1 hr 36 min
Dogtooth is a Greek movie that was released in 2009, directed by Yorgos Lanthimos. The movie tells the story of a family that lives in isolation from the rest of the world, and their attempts to control the behavior and beliefs of their children to ensure they remain obedient. The movie begins with a father and mother, played by Christos Stergioglou and Michele Valley, bringing up their three children in a house surrounded by a high fence. The children are never allowed to leave the house, and their parents have created a fictional world for them where their vocabulary and perceptions are strictly controlled.
The children, two girls and a boy, are never given any actual names, but are referred to by their parents as "older," "middle," and "younger." Their father employs a woman who occasionally visits the house to relieve the son's sexual urges. However, the father tells him that the woman is his sister fighting for her life in the hospital.
Their education consists of made-up words and false definitions, and they are taught that certain objects or animals are dangerous and deadly. They are told that their mother gave birth to a fourth child who was so enamored by the lure of the outside world that he escaped, and was subsequently mauled and killed by a cat. This tale is used to justify the fence and the false beliefs they hold about the world outside.
As the children grow older, the parents' control becomes increasingly restrictive. One day, the father brings home a video cassette player along with a handful of films that he claims he made himself. The only films the children are allowed to watch are rehearsed and heavily edited family videos, but when the oldest daughter secretly watches an unedited film, it changes everything. The film contains images of people outside of the fence, and after seeing the film, the daughter becomes obsessed with the idea of leaving the house.
As the daughter becomes more and more insistent on leaving, the mother's control over the house becomes more tyrannical. The daughter gets a little help from one of the security guards who work with her father, exchanging food with him for small moments of freedom, and later, her out-of-town aunt (D) visits the family, and brings the youngest daughter a gift: a headband with side mirrors. She explains to her that it will allow her to be self-sufficient, as she won't need anyone else to tell her what is happening behind her.
The father becomes aware of their conspiring and ultimately turns the tables on them by increasing his control, leading to a disastrous and tragic conclusion.
Dogtooth is a strange and disturbing movie that leaves a lasting impression on its viewers. The movie is beautifully shot, and the director Yorgos Lanthimos has a unique style that is distinctly his own. The film delves into themes of isolation, control, and hidden desires, and the performances from the three leads are all fantastic.
In conclusion, Dogtooth is an excellent example of dark, absurdist humor that works if the viewer is aware of the Greek culture and societal background it was produced in. It is not for everyone, but for those who enjoy challenging and thought-provoking cinema, Dogtooth is a must-watch.
Dogtooth is a 2009 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 36 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.2 and a MetaScore of 73.