REVIEW: Cinema Release: Dogtooth
Release date: 23rd April 2010
Running time: 94 minutes
Director: Giorgos Lanthimos
Starring: Christos Stergioglou, Aggeliki Papoulina, Mary Tsoni, Hristos Passalis
Studio: Boo Productions
We’ve all heard arguments that children these days are wrapped up in cotton wool by overprotective parents. Director Giorgos Lanthimos takes this critique and runs wild with it, demonstrating the cost of maintaining a perfect family in a film of obsession and isolation.
Dogtooth offers us a glimpse into the life of a Greek family, structured around a foundation of discipline and order, regimented by a compulsive father (Stregioglou). His determination to shield them from the outside world extends beyond the anxiety of a dutiful father and his vision of an ideal family is embedded so deeply in his mindset that his grown-up son and two daughters (Passalis, Tsoni and Papoulina) have never been allowed to venture further than the bottom of the drive. Using the ignorance installed in the childish minds of his children and ultimately manipulating their fear both of him and the unknown, he rules in his own familial prison. Naïve and younger than their years, the children have been brainwashed with a false reality painted by their parents and reinforced by their seclusion. Brought up to believe in an elusive brother who defiantly left to live on the other side of “the wall”, they await the loss of their dogteeth to signify their authorised readiness to follow suit and leave the confines of their house.