“Dogtooth” Review

Satirical comedy “Dogtooth” isn’t afraid to show off its teeth with an extraordinary bite on family values.

Connor Kline, Staff Writer

A house to most is a sanctuary where you can be free but to the family in the film, it is their own prison. A peculiar vision with witty satire all wrapped up in a story about being in quarantine for your entire life with a warped view on society and how it shapes the community with what it holds. 

The plot of the film revolves around a controlling father who locks his three adult children in the family compound; he keeps them in a child-like state of mind and teaches them things incorrectly, such as: words and the definitions. The father doesn’t allow the children to think for themselves but makes them his robot. Soon the eldest child begins to develop thoughts and emotions for herself. This discovery soon leads to the father’s plan falling apart and creating trouble in his dreamlike paradise. 

The film takes no time to put you directly into the shoes of the adult children. You see the children  forced to do anything their parents ask and they’re lied to and manipulated. The movie makes you feel terrible for the children because they aren’t in control of their life and shows how sadistic some people act even to their own offspring. 

The movie does a phenomenal job at the symbolism  within the story and its satire. Most of the film contains dull colors to show how the characters possess no personality or even empathy. As the movie goes on, the eldest child begins to explore things outside of the compound, allowing her to create her own identity and when this occurs more, color is introduced. 

The character development occurs beautifully, especially when it comes to the oldest child. She starts as a follower just as her siblings are and for this, they are rewarded with stickers when they follow commands. She develops interests and even comes up with a nickname for herself, indicating she’s creating her identity. 

The film itself is very uncomforting due to the subject matter of being manipulated and being treated as an inferior. It is claustrophobic since it’s set in a home and barely anything is shown outside of the gate to the compound. There are some scenes that endure disturbing content because of choices made by characters, but they’re necessary to show the transformation of characters and to go along with its satirical tone. 

At a runtime of 97 minutes, the movie is a hysterical, jaw-dropping and overall uncomfortable viewing that starts with a high note and constantly increases the levels of insanity throughout. The film’s satire is genius with it being about Greek’s government at the time in 2009, but the satire can still fit in today’s climate, especially with being in quarantine. 

The film showcases an excellent use of symbolism, caricatures and development of its story and characters. It has outstanding performances from everyone but the stand out is the eldest child who shows a range of emotions. It is a film that needs more than one viewing to appreciate everything that happens.

“Dogtooth” rates a five out of five on the ratings scale.