• Noel Jacob

Dogtooth(2009) by Yorgos Lanthimos

A tape recorder plays-

"The new words of the day are Sea, Highway, Roadtrip, and Shotgun. ‘Sea’ is the leather chair with wooden armrests like the one in the living room. Example: Don’t remain standing, sit down in the sea to have a chat."


Thus begins Dogtooth, the film that won Yorgos Lanthimos international acclaim and recognition, cementing his name as one of the most exciting directors working today.


Three adult children of authoritative parents live in complete isolation from the rest of the world under their parents' control. They have never stepped out of the house and are all told the same lie – that they can leave when their canine “dog” tooth falls, but as they are adults, it never will.


The children are brought up in this absurdly false reality carefully crafted by their manipulative parents, to protect them from “bad influences”. They never choose to question this reality, or at least until external influence arrives.


Dogtooth takes the parental urge for control over children’s environments to a scathing, fascist degree. The parents are merciless and cruel, and under their iron regime, the adult children retain childlike qualities.


Dogtooth is a film that constantly shocks the viewer with every new development, as the viewer tries to comprehend the full extent of the manufactured reality they are presented with. The film uses a dark, surreal, and unnerving tone that goes to a chilling, brutal extent at times.


The film shows that our perceptions of reality are learned and that we often blindly accept it when we are brought up in it. Dogtooth marks an important beginning for the director who would go on to create many more masterpieces. The film challenges our ideas of reality and inspires many new questions – questions we as viewers are then left to answer.

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