Yorgos Lanthimos strikes again! His brilliant new feature The Killing of a Sacred Deer was as disturbing as it was intriguing. Lanthimos seems to have the strange power to draw the life and soul out of any human he depicts on the screen–especially when they are placed in extremely agonizing circumstances. It becomes quite hard for the viewer to empathize with their suffering, which is disturbing. He seems to challenge and question the extent of human empathy and morality (especially in this new film).
Robotic and comically detached from our usual human emotional reality, Lanthimos presents the story of an affluent family targeted by a perturbed–and perhaps divine– victim.
The film becomes an amalgamation of subtle themes and symbols. There seems to be a clash between human warmth and the coldness of medicine. The human body, which is meant to be warm and alive, takes on a deadly quality.
The frequent use of long shots from removed angles furthers the distance felt between the characters portrayed on screen and the audience. Lanthimos seems to purposefully create a barrier between both–the audience gets to analyze the subjects without emotion or attachment.
Technically simple, yet very complex in its themes, The Killing of a Sacred Deer shines as an odd and absurd film. Its depth and subtlety is what makes it a delightful and original picture–it is definitely worth seeing in theatres!