|Formats:||18 DVD, Blu-ray|
|Starring:||Christos Stergioglou, Michelle Valley, Aggeliki Papoulia, Mary Tsoni, Hristos Passalis, Anna Kalaitzidou|
|Genres:||Drama, Thriller, World Cinema|
|Studio:||FUSION MEDIA SALES|
|Collections:||Crazy Corner, LOVEFiLM Staff Picks, Super Cool Films, Tenuous Animals, Unhappy Families|
|Run time:||1 hour 36 minutes|
|Rental release:||13 Sep 2010|
Most helpful review
keep it in the familyBy Nootlin (133 reviews) from London , 19 Oct 2009
[Highly rated reviewer]Dogtooth begins with three young adults sitting in a bathroom, listening to a recording of what turns out to be their mothers voice, teaching them new vocabulary. They listen intently as she misinforms them with weird and wonderful meanings for everyday words, before switching off the tape and challenging each other to a game of dare. The game is the first of many childrens games, and this first scene sets up the movie beautifully, throwing you off centre, preparing you for one of the most surreal rides of your life.
The children (because that is what they remain) are held hostage in their own secluded home. They are blissfully unaware of this, having been brought up to not know any better by two of cinemas cruelest inventions: their parents.
The parents create a bizarre world for their children in a twisted effort to keep them safe from the supposed dangers that lurk outside their front gate. By not letting them lead their own normal lives, the children grow older but are stifled from growing up. They will never know joy or pain or sorrow that isn't carefully controlled and managed by their parents. So fearful do they make their children of leaving the compound of the house, that they don't need to secure it in any real way. Like the game of sharks that children play, where the living room carpet becomes a danger zone, these children know that they cannot set a single foot on the soil beyond the drive for fear of something nasty happening to them.
Dogtooth can't really be compared to any other films that I know of. You can try to compare it with the work of Todd Solondz - dark humour, dysfunctional family life - and the crux of the film reminded of films like The Idiots, Underground and The Village (not to mention the bizarre coincidence of this film being made around the same time as the true story of Jaycee Lee Dugard broke) but honestly, Dogtooth just needs to be seen to be believed.
Despite the bizarre set-up, despite the moments of aggression and violence, this is a sweet and innocent film, played beautifully by all of the actors involved, and shot through with a healthy sunny dose of nostalgia.
I highly recommend Dogtooth to anyone looking for a great film far away from the mainstream. I still found it very accessible.
- Was this review helpful to you?
- (125) Yes |
- No (35)
This film leaves a string of questions in its wakeBy Pandrinoz (3 reviews) from Stockport , 10 Oct 2013A few days after returning this DVD, I'm still puzzling about Dogtooth. That's probably a good sign, as even the most bizarre storyline or premise will not keep people's attention if the execution is unconvincing. The question is: in what sense is this a 'good' film? Certainly it is not a feel-good film. By the end I have to admit I was feeling quite emotionally drained (and I also had to go and hug my cats to make up for the one in the film). I have to admit that I failed to see even black humour in it. Bleak, maybe. There is certainly a von Trier feel to Dogtooth, besides the strangeness of the story: very natural light, the slightly 'hand-held' feel, as if a family member were behind the camera, which adds to the feeling of authenticity: you might be watching a documentary at times. From the very start, the characters immediately strike one as emotionally blunted, but this just adds to the mystery surrounding this family. That mystery is never solved, by the way - the only hints about how they ended up in this situation are not very believable, though you feel there might be a grain of truth in it). Incongruity plays a big part in this film. A luxurious house with neat, well-watered gardens and a large swimming pool owned by a well-to-do factory manager or owner is also essentially a place of captivity, deception and isolation perpetrated on his children, with a question mark constantly hanging over his wife's motivation for cooperating with him. Are these parents overly protective or are this just emotional abuse? Did one lead to the other? And of course, the meaning of the eponymous 'dogtooth' is a puzzle: given the parents' reassignment of words to unrelated objects, does the daughter have the right idea when she tries to 'lose' hers and thereby get to enter the outside world? What was the symbolism of the dog being trained, and did it reflect his attitude towards his children? Who knows?
pointless in concept and executionBy papatez (328 reviews) from folkestone , 05 Dec 2012watched the whole film on ultra-fast forward in the hope that something worthwhile would appear but it didn't. Somehow I don't think my life will be missing something by not knowing why they decided to call the sofa 'sea' unless the writer was trying to save letters.
- Was this review helpful to you?
- (1) Yes |
- No (11)
Just oddBy ianhurley (4 reviews) , 02 Dec 2012Possibly the weirdest and most strange film I have ever watched, seriously odd.
There's not much story structure, it just kinda happens. Worth a watch sometime but no rush.
wake upBy blitzfish (7 reviews) , 01 Oct 2012Sometimes film reviews make me think people didn't notice the artistic revolutions of the 20th century, or at least consciously. Or maybe they just didn't get Picasso or Klee or...or... As Art isn't just about pretty pictures, so Film isn't just about simple stories, or heroes and villains. This film might make you think about power, and families, and parenting, and the modern world, amongst other things. I suspect it isn't meant to be simple entertainment, so don't watch it if that's what you want. It is NOT Hollywood eye candy [maybe think more Fasbinder or Von Trier].
Great filmBy Filmbuffey (6 reviews) , 20 Jul 2012This is a brilliant film. It's funny and it's different from everything I have ever seen before. It is however very dark and disturbing. It is worth seeing even if you don't like it.