In the wake of Parasite, the bloody South Korean Oscar-winner, and of the Emmy successes last week for the television dramas Squid Game and White Lotus, which is set in a luxury resort, there is a clear global appetite for exposing and satirising the huge gaps in wealth and status. Both series focused on the desperation of the serving classes.
The ill-fated yacht in Triangle of Sadness is laden with people who represent the moneyed private jet-owners of the modern world. Among them are a grizzled Russian oligarch, who sails alongside both his wife and his mistress, and an elderly British arms manufacturer and his wife. The reluctant captain of the ship is Woody Harrelson, ultimately the accidental agent of destruction in Ruben Östlund’s film. The Swedish director, who is best known for his alpine drama Force Majeure and artworld satire The Square, ultimately hands power over to one of the yacht’s cleaners, Abigail, played by Dolly De Leon, in a storyline that echoes a long history of cautionary tales in which the downtrodden rise up to wreak revenge on their masters.