Kinds of Kindness

Kinds of Kindness

A triptych fable following a man without choice who tries to take control of his own life; a policeman who is alarmed that his wife who was missing-at-sea has returned and seems a different person; and a woman determined to find a specific someone with a special ability, who is destined to become a prodigious spiritual leader.

  • Released:
  • Runtime: 164 minutes
  • Genre: Comedy, Drama
  • Stars: Jesse Plemons, Willem Dafoe, Margaret Qualley, Hong Chau, Joe Alwyn, Elton LeBlanc, Mamoudou Athie, Victoria Harris, Hunter Schafer, Emma Stone, Merah Benoit, Krystal Alayne Chambers, Ja'Quan Monroe-Henderson, Susan Elle, Nathan Mulligan, Christian M. Letellier, Julianne Binard, Lance Michael Weller, Susan Elle, Tessa Bourgeois
  • Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
  • thebeachlife - 3 July 2024
    Interesting, Haunting, Disgusting
    Nike product placement, Willem Dafoe in red bikini trunks and then with them off, Emma Stone chopping her thumb off and then her liver out, sacred tears dissolved in water carried in buckets and large containers, sweat and blood licked, dogs having people-style intercourse and vice versa of course, Stone victory-dancing to Brand New B*tch, insane-acting sects everywhere, terrifying music: those and many more in a new Lanthimos picture that feels like Lynch, Von Trier and even Tarantino all in one. Well made, absolutely astounding, insane, surreal and haunting. But is it the kind of kindness we need at the moment? Don't we already know the world has gone not-slightly mad? We do, don't we?
  • dorothybishop-12911 - 2 July 2024
    A puzzle or just random weirdness? Are the feet and food significant?
    I loved Kinds of Kindness despite its weirdness and the occasional gruesome moments (I am a squeamish viewer). I want to see it again, because I suspect it is a puzzle and there may be more linking the three stories than just the character of R. M. F. I note that the featured review by BVAMJX wisely advises us to experience the film emotionally and that "Trying to intellectualize it will only lead to frustration". I totally agree that the film packs an emotional punch and is also pleasing in the way it startles you. Despite everything, it is witty and at times my companion and I laughed aloud.

    But it also appeals to my intellect and I find myself trying to dissect what is going on. I don't really understand the role of R. M. F - I'm sure there is more to him than appears on the surface. If you stay beyond the final credits, he crops up again eating a burger that squirts ketchup over his front, which he nonchalantly wipes away. Is he symbolic of the director, I wondered?

    I won't repeat the three plots, as other reviewers have done so comprehensively. Clearly, at the thematic level there are similarities in the tales of people who allow themselves to be manipulated because they want love and acceptance. The "kindness" in the title is in short supply. Those doing the manipulating - Raymond in story 1, Daniel in story 2 and Omi in story 3, are the opposite of kind - their icy coldness destroys those who want to be accepted by them. After Robert has tricked Rita into helping him in story 1, there appears some kindness between them when she accepts his offer of a date, and he visits her in hospital, but it turns out that the whole encounter has been controlled by Raymond. Liz in story 2 was the only character I can remember who showed kindness in her attempts to relate to Daniel, but it does not end well.

    Death is the theme that the film starts and ends with. We all want to cheat death, and the quest for someone who can bring the dead to life consumes Emily in story 3. Raymond in story 1 wants to control death, and demands that those who love him will kill random individuals on his behalf. In story 2, Daniel is consumed by grief when he thinks Liz is dead, but when she does return to him, he finds she is not what he wants.

    At times I wondered whether the three stories were just intended as portrayals of the internal state of people with particular psychiatric conditions: delusion of control in story 1, Capgras syndrome (where a person becomes convinced a familiar other has been taken over by a clone) in story 2, and cult membership in story 3. But that is perhaps too neat and logical. And, after all, in both story 2 and story 3, people really do rise from the dead.

    I became particularly intrigued by recurring themes in the details of each story. Damage to hands and feet was one. In story 1 Robert deliberately damages first his hand and then his foot as a device to elicit sympathy from women he wants to link up with. Liz's self-mutilation in story 2 is far worse. And feet assume importance as a clue for Daniel to decide that Liz is not the real Liz. In story 3, Emily deliberately cuts a dog's foot to create a reason for visiting the vet.

    Food is another thing I noticed. In story 1, Robert's food choices are totally controlled by Daniel. In story 2, food is much discussed - bloody meat is served by Daniel, who later licks blood from a man he has shot before declaring an interest in eating parts of Liz. Liz, meanwhile, devours chocolate like there is no tomorrow and tells a bizarre tale of being fed chocolate by dogs on the island where she was marooned. In story 3, it seems that cult members have specific dietary requirements (no fish!) and will only drink water from a pool filled by the tears of the cult leaders.

    I've focussed here on intriguing details of the plot, but it's worth also commenting on the acting and cinematography, both of which are superb.

    Some of the cameos are also nicely done. I particularly liked the hapless young psychiatrist who was totally out of his depth when confronted with Daniel in story 2 - he failed to diagnose the seriousness of his condition and the danger he posed.

    And the close-up of a kiss in story 3 was very clever - managed to be disturbing, sexy and icky all at once.

    Anyhow, I think this is a film that can be enjoyed at many levels: if you want logic and coherence you will hate it. But it works just as an engrossing and at times entertaining exploration of human relationships and psychopathology. If, like me, you enjoy puzzles, I suspect there may be more beneath the surface - though whether what you find corresponds with the director's intentions is anybody's guess.
  • joiningjt - 19 June 2024
    OVERRATED director but America is filled with LEMMINGS so Everyone GIVE IT A 10!!
    This director does have a great staff that make some of his films cinematography nice poor things was beautiful but it was a porn!! It also is based on human beings worst case scenario. Sorry but I like movies to be entertaining but also make me feel amazing when I leave the theater. Give me a Capra film anyday, give us another mr smith goes to Washington OMG DO WE need help now!! It seems all we do is reward NEGATIVETY like Quentin Tarrantino or Trump. Let's use Vulgarity, Violence, profanity, sex and let's show the worst part of that. We need A Frank Capra RIGHT NOW . Please quit rewarding these negative pompous so called Artists!!

    You want proof wizard of Oz the greatest film ever made STILL is popular almost a hundred years old!! So far this decade is by FAR the worst inventory of films we've ever had to choose from.
  • amplified_soul - 30 May 2024
    Power, Control, Love, Blind faith.
    With these three absurd and grim stories, Lanthimos seems to be writing a love letter to Bunuel. Desperation, insanity, loneliness, cults, cannibalism, unquestionable faith and manipulation, are all there. I was sunk in, from the first close up of Plemons's mustached face, and Stone's celebratory dance in the parking lot 2 hours and 45 minutes later caught me by surprise, despite knowing it was coming. The cast really sinks into the robotic, yet powerful performances. Their delivery of the lines cautiously keeps you at bay, so that you can't really empathize with any of the characters, although you are desperately trying to. The dry humor pops up in unexpected moments and it almost feels unintentional.

    The dominant emotion you feel during the movie is guilt, for having such a great time watching all this cruelty unfold on screen. The setting of a faceless, damp, summer New Orleans, binds perfectly with Robbie Ryan's beautiful cinematography. Extreme and long close ups, along with various wide lenses are back. Fendix's stoic score, which seems to consist mainly of piano and unsettling chanting, felt appropriate.

    Is there any depth to all of this? Maybe not, but you have no other choice than to discuss about it with a friend, which is probably more than enough to make the director happy.

    This macabre anthology film solidifies the fact, that no one makes movies like Lanthimos today. This isn't a movie for wider audiences, but his fans will definitely enjoy it, maybe a bit too much, like me.