Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dogtooth (2010)

A husband and wife keep their teenage children imprisoned on their property, creating an alternative, abusive reality for them. [wiki]

Nominated for 1 Oscar: Best Foreign Language Film: Greece

As some of you might remember, I have a special relationship with Greece, as I had lived here for a while and I still come with work once every couple of months (actually, as I'm writing, I'm in Athens for 2 weeks). So I was hesitant to see Dogtooth, first because it's my first Greek film (and what a way to start) and mostly because I had heard of the controversy surrounding it and I didn't want to completely tear it apart, because of the respect I have for the people here - who were super excited it got nominated.

I was happy to discover it is not that bad. Dogtooth is a pretentious, arrogant, in many ways imature film, with a subject that will definitely not please everybody. On the bad side there's also the screenplay - taken too far and for no real reason, the ending which could've been much more powerful and, most of all, the unnecessary nudity. Keep in mind: it's not a film to watch with your parents: lots of vaginas, breasts, a penis in erection, and other forms of nudity. :) Also, an explicit sex scene which I suspect wasn't even simulated or acted. Why do I have a problem with this?! Because I don't think big-screen films should make you either horny or show excessive, unnecessary-for-the-story nudity just in an attempts to shock - for that we have porn. I don't want to be distracted while I'm focusing on a serious, cinema-related film.

On the good side: well, the direction. This guy is a much better director than a writer. Sure, he needs to tone it down a bit, stop showing off, but I swear: there's at least a scene I have no idea how he managed to film it!!! Either there was real torture involved, or he has a technique that is terribly surprising at times - those who've seen it probably know I'm referring to the dogtooth scene towards the end. How did he make it so real? Visual effects maybe? No idea.

My rating for the film: 7/10. Because it makes no sense at times, but it surprises in others. I will remember it more than I'll remember In a Better World, but I'm lowering the grade as I was annoyed by the nudity.


  1. I really want to see this. But the trailer alone disturbed the hell out of me.

    But I can't deny it's quite irresistible. Maybe in the near future.....

  2. The director is fantastic! Yeah, it was a bit gratuitous but it was still super well done and I...liked (?) it a lot. haha. And yeah, the scene you referred to towards the end...yikes.

  3. It depends on the culture you come from but I don't find a story about parents abusing there children entertaining or educational. So the movie celebrates dysfunction and it is a great movie. Incest and molestation are not cool. It is depressing and does not elevate the human spirit. Tired of directors hiding there perversion behind art. Actors want to act so bad that the don't see that they are puppets to play out some dark sick twisted fantasy. Life is rough enough without showing me some depravity and calling it art. How is this uplifting the society. How are we coming into a higher level of concienceness.