'Force Majeure': A Sublimely Piercing Dark Comedy from Sweden
"Force Majeure" aka "Turist" (2014) is a pointedly dark comedy from Sweden that follows a seemingly well-adjusted family vacationing in the French Alps when they experience a frightening near-death avalanche—thereby unleashing a cacophony of mistrust and anxiety as their dynamic is shaken to the core.
This pitch black satire charts the steady disintegration of the family unit and the father’s psyche in particular, as his reaction to impending death leaves his family deeply questioning his masculinity and prioritization of their well-being. The stages of blame and negotiation play out with painful honesty, holding back very little in a manner that leaves the viewer uncomfortable yet darkly satisfied, as if gleefully eavesdropping on the personal affairs of another.
Writer/director Ruben Östlund (Play, The Square) has crafted a laugh-quietly-on-the-inside-worthy depiction of human vulnerability with "Force Majeure", playing out the conflict in a Stanley Kubrick-like portrayal of psychological deterioration. It will certainly leave you bewitched, even as it touches upon your darkest of funny bones.
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