Yorgos & Icarus or Yorgos & Steven?

Part of me detests Kinds of Kindness due to its shocking, violent images. I cheat and look away when I know something is coming. I consider watching disturbing images akin to eating junk food, both having negative effects.

But on the other hand, let’s say Yorgos is making the case (I don’t research a film I’m not doing a talk on to sustain a level of surprise and even after, like to wrap my own brain around the messages in my version of brain work) that humans have become sheep and we not only like being told what to do, we will go to great lengths to stay ‘liked’/in the fold.

In my first scenario, Yorgos is Icarus, a pompous director who now thinks every idea he has is brilliant and due to his wealth, gets to make any movie he wants. The second claims that he’s the next Pinker, seeing clearly what’s wrong with our world.

From my small world, it does seem that many people (let’s say more than half) all want to conform…my pet peeves (pun intended, the dog and cell phone obsession. And to flesh this out, what I mean specifically is the infantilization of current adults. Meaning taking your dog to dinner, buying him/her Halloween costumes, gourmet food, doggie spas, and flowers (this is sarcasm, but could almost be true), it’s representative of taking your stuffed animal everywhere as a child. With cell phones, let’s face facts, it’s on a toy. In both cases, you’re sacrificing human contact and inner development. You could actually go to dinner with a friend or spouse and not have the canine distraction. You could take a walk by yourself and have some thoughts of your own.

The need to conform is also getting ramped up with political divisions to the point that people will sacrifice friends and family all in the name of what they view as their side’s political ‘correctness’.

So Lanthimos could be trying to shake us up, using the disturbing sequences as exclamation points for us to make up.

Day After Thoughts and Corrections:
Obviously Lanthimos is making a point and Einstein is an old reference. Let’s say he’s trying to be Steven Pinker instead.
Also, allow me to script doctor this and provide more meaning which I think is the main problem with this film. I can do disturbing as long as you’re going to give me a reason.

Story One is actually fine as is. Story Two, however needs help. Cut small amounts of the dinner scenes. Take out the cop shooting, but keep the rest of the pull over. Then make the ending of that one more fantastical. Story Three, make more of a story arc (of all three) by having Emma make a different choice at the end, thus leaving the audience on a more hopeful note.

The acting no matter which scenario you choose is spotless. Emma Stone, Willem Dafoe, Hong Chau, Margaret Qualley and Jesse Plemons are miracles in each of the three stories.

The score by Jerskin Fendrix is creepy and worthy of an award.

So as much as I had to turn my head and shield my eyes, Kinds of Kindness is clever and thought provoking. If I find out Lanthimos was just ‘having fun, then I’ll be back to the Icarus scenario that he’s just a Greek flying too close to the sun.

By Goldie

Aspiring writer who has retired from the institution of education. I've written plays, three of which have been performed both in Rochester NY and here in Sarasota FL. I also write stand up and obviously, film critique. My comment section does not work, so please email me your comments at irun2eatpizza@hotmail.com

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