"Dogtooth" (2009) is a Greek drama film directed by Yorgos Lanthimos. The movie delves deep into the themes of control, manipulation, and isolation.
The story revolves around a husband and wife who keep their three adult children confined to their isolated country estate, ignorant of the outside world. The father strictly controls every aspect of their lives, feeding them bizarre lies about the dangers that exist beyond the fence surrounding their property. He convinces them that they will be ready to leave the house once they lose a dogtooth, a twisted milestone of adulthood in their skewed reality. The children's only connection to the outside world is Christina, a woman brought by the father to satisfy the son's sexual urges. As she introduces the eldest daughter to some external influences, cracks begin to form in the fabricated reality, leading to inevitable consequences.
"Dogtooth" stands out for its unique premise and unsettling portrayal of extreme parental control and manipulation. Lanthimos crafts a world that is disturbing yet intriguing, prompting viewers to reflect on societal norms and the nature of influence.
The film employs a static, cold, and deliberate visual style, matching the sterile and controlled environment the children live in. This contributes greatly to the film's eerie atmosphere.
The actors give convincing performances, making the audience buy into the strange reality in which the characters exist. Their robotic behavior combined with moments of genuine emotion paints a picture of individuals deeply affected by their confined upbringing.
One of the most talked-about elements of "Dogtooth" is its ambiguity. The film does not explain why the parents chose to raise their children this way or delve deep into their motivations. This can be seen as a strength, allowing for various interpretations, but it might also be a point of frustration for some viewers looking for clear answers.
The film contains scenes that are deeply unsettling, bordering on the perverse. While these scenes drive home the impact of the children's manipulated reality, they might be too intense for some viewers.
At a deeper level, "Dogtooth" can be interpreted as a commentary on societal control, indoctrination, and the dangers of extreme sheltering. It challenges viewers to question the information they receive and the confines of their own upbringing.
In conclusion, "Dogtooth" is a provocative and bold film that won't be to everyone's taste. It's a deep dive into a nightmarish scenario of control and isolation, showcasing Lanthimos' talent for pushing boundaries and challenging audiences.