KINDS OF KINDNESS – Review by Susan Granger

0 Flares 0 Flares ×

Call me a philistine but I wouldn’t wish having to watch Yorgos Lanthimos’ dreadful 165-minute Kinds of Kindness dirge on my worst enemy!

After intriguing audiences with Poor Things (2023) and The Favourite (2018), which were – at least – comprehensible, Greek ‘auteur’ Lanthimos reunites with his co-screenwriter Efthimis Filippou to create a trilogy of bizarre, almost incoherent cinematic ‘essays’ exploring themes of dominance/control, faith and love.

The titles of each disturbing segment refer to R.M.F. – the initials by which a perpetually mysterious man (Yorgos Stefanakos) is known.

In The Death of R.M.F, placid, obedient Robert (Jesse Plemons) is at the beck-and-call of his demanding, wealthy boss (Willem Dafoe), who not only supports Robert and his wife Sarah (Hong Chau) but also sends them uniquely extravagant sports memorabilia gifts – like John McEnroe’s smashed tennis racquet. But there’s a malevolent undertone that surfaces when Robert rebels in desperation.

In the next episode, maritime biologist Liz (Emma Stone) is missing on an research expedition, causing her cop husband Daniel (Plemons) to sink into depression. When his partner Neil (Mamoudou Athie) and wife Martha (Margaret Qualley) invite him to dinner, distraught Daniel begs them to watch a kinky, sexually explicit video. Then things go from bad to worse when ‘Liz’ comes back.

Finally in R.E.M. Eats a Sandwich, Emily (Stone) joins a creepy, purity-obsessed sex cult led by Omi (Dafoe) and Aka (Chau). She’s partnered with Andrew (Plemons) on a quest to find/identify a potential spiritual leader with the power to reanimate the dead. It’s all quite surreal.

Kinder critics have called Lanthimos ‘enigmatic’; to me, he’s simply deranged – except to those devoted film buffs who admire his stylistic tics, robotic dialogue, dark humor and deadpan acting direction, previously demonstrated in The Killing of a Sacred Deer in which a confrontational character (Barry Keoghan) convinces a doctor (Colin Farrell) to kill one of his family members..

On the Granger Gauge of 1 to 10, Kinds of Kindess is a tediously twisted triptych 2, playing in theaters….I urge you not to waste your time or money!

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 0 Flares ×

Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.