Östlund’s eye for the subtleties of human behavior, especially public behavior, never fails.
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The director excels at generating a nervous energy around his character’s mounting desperation, and the movie’s intermittently engaging for that reason alone.
An excoriating razor-burn of a movie that deploys drollery like an instrument of torture.
There is much to enjoy here - especially at the beginning - and Östlund's ambition and vision are to be applauded. However, The Square would have been greatly improved had the director taken his scalpel and his demanding critical eye and applied it to the film itself.
In all its flawed brilliance, The Square remains an original, visceral, uncomfortable and essential viewing experience.
Ostlund, at his best, is a heady and enthralling filmmaker, but unfortunately, he has so much on his mind that he is also, at his weakest, a shapeless and didactic one.
This movie really brings some gobsmackingly weird and outrageous spectacle, with moments of pure showstopping freakiness. Eventually it loses a bit of focus and misses some narrative targets which have been sacrificed to those admittedly extraordinary set pieces.
While The Square is not as slick and streamlined a film as Force Majeure it still hunts for that same meaty psychological game and is never afraid — no matter how close to the bone — to twist that knife.
Sporting the ambition and sweep of a limited-run TV series, The Square may be overstuffed, but it never stops churning ideas and incidents.
What’s perhaps most impressive about Ostlund’s evolving style as a filmmaker and social commentator is his compulsion to enrich every scene he creates with a multitude of tones and nuances across the serio-comic spectrum. He’s like a virtuoso chef driven to try increasingly wild combinations of spices and ingredients; often the result is terrific, once in a while it’s too much.