The Killing of a Sacred Deer

LetterboxD review link

In 2015, when I saw Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster, I left the theater wondering if the geopolitics of Greece and EU affected his work. After seeing his latest, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, I’m covinced this dynamic plays a central role in the stories he wants to tell right now. Deer is a comi-tragedy, full of body horror, interested in the complicated relationship between emotions and rationality, and features great scene setting and performances from actors at the top of their game.

But in another light, it is a fascinating exploration of the relationship between Greece and the European community. In many ways, the EU has held Greece hostage for the last decade. It has exacted revenge, for something Greece may have not truly been at fault for, and Greece has largely been helpless in protecting itself. As he did with Dogtooth and Lobster, Lanthimos explores bigger themes about society through interpersonal relationships and family dynamics. In the end, the line between who is at fault, who is holding who hostage, how fairness or justice can be established, who should feel guilty is left blurry - as it is in real life between Greece and the EU.

Barry Keoghan, who shines in a central role, reminded me of a younger Joel Edgerton. That’s neither here nor there, just something I couldn’t stop thinking about every time he was on screen.