The Square (2017)

After reading several positive reviews about it and after its Oscar nomination, I decided to check out The Square. I didn't have very high expectations though because the only film of Ruben Östlund I had seen before was Force Majeure, a fine movie that however didn't live up to the hype. I guess he is not my type because I didn't love this one either. 

The film follows a few weeks in the life of Christian (Claes Bang), the curator of a modern art museum in Stockholm who, while looking for those who have stolen his phone and wallet, struggles at creating the hype and launching a new work of art, The Square.

And that's the main problem I had with The Square, the plot. Or rather, the lack of one. Though it starts off in a very interesting way, the "plot" (it's a disjointed plot, by the way) soon starts wandering, it becomes an assembly of subplots, most of which are left unresolved and ditched quite fast for another shallow subplot --Elisabeth Moss's character and subplot just don't fit.There isn't a single developed plot, and at some point, I didn't care anymore about what was going on. 

The main character, on the other hand, is interesting and keeps the film moving. Christian is arrogant, self-centered. He is not kind nor understanding towards many (if not most) of his fellow citizen. He doesn't really care about anything --he isn't even worried when his kids are fighting. He is detached, disconnected from life and everything and everyone that surrounds him. He is both a victim and perpetrator of injustice. He is a very unlikable character and yet Claes Bang gives such a good performance, he makes you sympathize with him.

TriArt Film
Then there's the satire. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work. It takes on modern art and modern society, from political correctness to freedom of speech, but it never dwells too deep into it. That and the most satirical scenes go on for too long. The dinner with the museum donors where the performer is acting like an ape is interesting and intriguing at first, then becomes uncomfortable and at last annoying. 

Still, The Square manages to highlight a huge problem in our society, the fact that people do not help those who are clearly in need unless the victim(s) makes it unbearable for them. In the dinner sequence, a woman is begging for help while being sexually assaulted by art (the ape-man) and everyone keeps their head down. When he starts screaming, then, but only then people help her. 


  1. I liked the idea of The Square more than I liked the actual movie. It was so disjointed.

    1. I know right! I'm glad this didn't win for Best Foreign Film.

  2. I hope to see this soon since this is a Palme d'Or winner at the Cannes Film Festival as I hope to do a complete list of all the Palme d'Or winners very soon.