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Filmspotting Message Boards => Movie Talk (Spoiler Edition) => Topic started by: Bondo on February 16, 2018, 06:44:42 PM

Title: The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Post by: Bondo on February 16, 2018, 06:44:42 PM
To be honest I'm not sure how to talk about this film without spoilers. Apparently it is based off an ancient Greek story, but the most obvious point of comparison would be Sophie's Choice, if only because he's asked to chose among loved ones. Of course, I never found Sophie's Choice, or this choice, that hard because obviously you let the boy die because ugh, boys. As a rational calculation, arguably you choose the youngest because less has been invested at that point.

In typical Lanthimos style, there is an uncanny nature to the setting. The delivery is abnormal, the dialogue is frank and emotionless for large portions at the start, making you throw out your expectations of how this world works. Certainly at the start the impression is that Steven (Colin Farrell) might have a creepy thing going on with Martin (Barry Keoghan). But then as you see these weird interactions persist in many situations, that sexual implication fades and we find out the real context and the tension builds. I could easily see this taking a turn like The Mist...posing a stern ethical question and having a reveal that makes it moot and pointless, but I guess here they stick to the supernatural angle.

I would say this struck me less both emotionally and intellectually than Dogtooth and The Lobster. It is a film of some interest but ultimately not a rousing success.
Title: Re: The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Post by: FLYmeatwad on February 16, 2018, 09:17:13 PM
I didn't see a ton of conversation about how those early parts are framed as sexual, but that's definitely the impression I got from it as well. I guess because it does fade it doesn't get mentioned a ton, but it definitely stood out to me.
Title: Re: The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Post by: oldkid on February 17, 2018, 11:39:36 AM
This is the first Lanthimos film where the deadpan style bothered me.  In other films, it might be an indication of oppression, of a protection in vulnerable circumstances. But here, the style occasionally breaks and it doesn't make as much sense.  I wish he would have allowed them to do a full range of performing.
Title: Re: The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Post by: jdc on February 20, 2018, 07:39:25 AM
As a rational calculation, arguably you choose the youngest because less has been invested at that point.

Those are all sunk costs and shouldn't be considered in the decision.
Title: Re: The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Post by: Bondo on February 20, 2018, 10:03:05 AM
As a rational calculation, arguably you choose the youngest because less has been invested at that point.

Those are all sunk costs and shouldn't be considered in the decision.

Fine, Iíll rephrase, they are younger so they have a lot more cost ahead pre-independence.
Title: Re: The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Post by: jdc on February 20, 2018, 07:06:20 PM
As a rational calculation, arguably you choose the youngest because less has been invested at that point.

Those are all sunk costs and shouldn't be considered in the decision.

Fine, Iíll rephrase, they are younger so they have a lot more cost ahead pre-independence.

Sure, but potentially are going to earn more over their lifetime unless you solve the pay gap.

As for the film, I meant to write about it soon after I watched it as both my wife and I liked it quite a bit. But it does seem to fade quickly from me compared to Dogtooth or The Lobster. I imagine I will watch those again at some point but not sure I will rewatch this one.
Title: Re: The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Post by: DarkeningHumour on March 07, 2018, 06:50:13 AM
I would say the rational decision would have been to shoot the wife.
Title: Re: The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Post by: philip918 on March 07, 2018, 12:47:03 PM
Was killing himself not an option?

Even if it wasn't, I thought it would be interesting if he did. He couldn't bear killing them himself, but still dooms them to die. A dichotomy of the personal and (semi) abstract.
Title: Re: The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Post by: jdc on March 07, 2018, 06:14:32 PM
The film is not fresh in my mind now but I would guess killing himself wouldn't have spared one of his children
Title: Re: The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Post by: Bondo on March 07, 2018, 06:31:38 PM
I was just trying to rationalize killing the spare (male).
Title: Re: The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Post by: valmz on May 22, 2018, 02:40:49 PM
I think the film exists simply because the man can't choose himself. This conceit brings about two intriguing elements:

People have an intrinsic desire for "justice" in the form of eye-for-an-eye - but this becomes emotionally incoherent when the victim is not around to have this desire for "justice" satisfied and the pain of those remaining is not one of gross injury but of loss. As such, death seems "too easy", and won't be an equal punishment for anyone remaining. This is because of two things:

1. Retributive justice is a selfish pursuit, and its toxicity is obvious when recognize how a desire for retributive justice can accomodate the death of an innocent person without purely being revolted at the loss of the innocent person, whose life becomes merely an instrument in order to spread misery in kind.
2. In a world where this "punishment" is thought to be "just", it is obvious that the world does not become a more just place when "justice" is carried out. In that world, as in all others, justice is never truly served by punishment. The victims will never regain what was lost. This brute fact is not easy, and it is easier to lust for revenge than to simply accept that what is done cannot be undone.

One can imagine a better world where no person seeks this form of "justice", and this film would seem ludicrous and benign. We certainly don't live in that world, though - where Palestinian civilians are being murdered by snipers in Gaza because they are protesting their captivity and servitude for the crime of being born in the wrong place - and the killers are being praised for their "restraint". The "justice" of the film seems quaint by that standard. What a shame that a horrible, mind-numbingly absurd, pointless, and destructive form of "justice" is an improvement in the world we live in.
Title: Re: The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Post by: DarkeningHumour on June 01, 2018, 05:14:44 AM
It's not.