The Square Movie Analysis

Good Essays
Shock Value: The Art of Controversy Within Ruben Östlund’s dark comedy The Square, Östlund satirizes the overblown hype that surrounds the world of modern art; specifically, he criticizes its reliance on controversy rather than substance for marketing. The movie follows Christian, a curator at a Swedish art museum, who unveils the newest exhibit purchased by a massive fifty-million donation: an unimpressive, four-by-four-meter square of LED lights. As the film progresses, Östlund exposes Christian’s inflated ego, selfish entitlement, and superficial nature as he poses as a knowledgeable connoisseur of the fine arts. Most notably, Östlund manipulates the mis en scène, to not only display the profound absurdity of the new exhibits, but also …show more content…
For example, the film’s soundtrack jarringly leaps from quiet Scandinavian opera to the blasting music of a violent rave in the museum. This drastic change in volume causes the audience to jump and cringe, similar to the reaction of people to the museum’s tasteless YouTube advertisement of a young girl being blown to pieces while standing in “The Square”. By resorting to this technique of shock, Östlund demonstrates, in a rather tongue-in-cheek manner, that not even his film is immune to the opportunity for immediate reaction created by egregious scenes and sounds. Similarly, silence and cacophony are juxtaposed in the “ape-man” scene as the performance actor shrieks like a monkey at full volume to a fearfully silent audience. The grating difference in noise increases the discomfort of the guests who try to ignore the ferocious display which, in an attempt to push boundaries, has clearly gone too far. Östlund also plays with sound to create moments of comic relief and to display awkwardness. In an argument between Christian and Anne, a sculpture of a pile of chairs rhythmically produces industrial sounds as if it’s being pushed to collapse. This environmental sound humorously punctuates the awkward silences in the argument such as when

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful