The Square movie poster
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The Square
The Square movie poster

The Square Movie Review

From the director of the fascinating character study Force Majeure comes The Square, another unique character study that unfortunately doesn’t work quite as well—but still offers enough complexity to keep you interested.

Claes Bang stars as Christian, the director of a modern art museum who is preparing to debut a new exhibit called “The Square,” which in tune with modern art bullshit is simply a square painted on the floor that is intended to inspire thought and community spirit. However, after his wallet and phone are stolen, Christian begins to make a series of questionable and out-of-character decisions.

There is also a scene in which a shirtless artist pretends to be a chimp and parades around harassing the museum’s rich donors.

The aforementioned scene is easily the most powerful and memorable moment from The Square, its meaning obvious, intriguing and undeniably intoxicating—unfortunately, much of the rest of the movie, while mildly entertaining, doesn’t land many punches. Bang is great, and the writing by Ruben Östlund is compelling, but the picture never comes together in the way you’d hope.

The Square is worthwhile if you’re looking for something different and sophisticated, but its theme is too muddled, its purpose too questionable, to be truly satisfying.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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