Kinetta ★★½

Just as weird as I'd hoped, but nowhere near as good.

The amount of growth between this and Lanthimos' follow-up, Dogtooth, is kind of incredible. Both films focus on ideas of idle hands and abuses of power, profoundly bored people resorting to dangerous kinds of fun and the people who take advantage of their eagerness. Some of the plot even feels like the groundwork for Alps, characters pretending to be in intimate conflicts they haven't experienced. While all of Lanthimos' later work can be read as effective satire and allegory, I don't know what to make of Kinetta. It's weird for the sake of being weird, but more often, it's just boring. Lanthimos has a knack for directing actors, but his visual direction is rather unremarkable. The decision to write a film with so little dialogue was not a great one. It still has some cool sequences, and I admire its quirks, but I ultimately didn't know what I was watching. It's more than possible that I'm missing some major thematic elements here, but nothing can change my lack of investment while watching this. An interesting debut, if nothing else.

Rating: 50/100

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