Play: Cannes Review
Writer-director Ruben Ostlund's third feature -- about a loaded racial incident -- is based on events that happened in Sweden several years ago.
A loaded racial incident based on events that happened in Sweden several years ago is festooned with too much formalistic baggage in Play. Writer-director Ruben Ostlund, in his third feature, after The Guitar Mongoloid and Involuntary, triggers immediate interest in this provocative drama by his use of numerous long takes and often fixed camera positions. But the ultimate effect of his studied techniques is more restricting than beneficial, which, combined with a protracted running time, faintly self-righteous air and a perplexing, misguided coda, produces a sense of letdown at the end despite the strength of much that has come before. Some trimming of the more extraneous material would help, as the confrontational drama has some sales potential.
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