The Killing of a Sacred Deer 2017 movie review & summary & introduction

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“The Killing of a Sacred Deer” is a psychological thriller film directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, released in 2017. It’s a thought-provoking and unsettling exploration of morality, guilt, and the consequences of one’s actions. With its distinctive style and dark themes, the film has garnered critical acclaim and sparked discussions among audiences.

Year of Production and Conditions of Production

“The Killing of a Sacred Deer” was released in 2017. The production of the film faced several challenges, as is often the case with psychologically intense and visually intricate projects.

One of the notable challenges was maintaining the eerie and unsettling atmosphere throughout the film. Director Yorgos Lanthimos is known for his unique and unconventional filmmaking style, characterized by deadpan delivery, surreal settings, and unsettling narratives. Achieving and sustaining this atmosphere required meticulous attention to detail in every aspect of production, from set design to cinematography.

Additionally, the film explores complex themes of guilt, responsibility, and morality, which required a nuanced approach from both the cast and crew. Delving into these psychological depths necessitated careful direction and performances that could convey the emotional weight of the story.

Despite these challenges, the film’s production ultimately succeeded in creating a gripping and thought-provoking cinematic experience that resonated with audiences and critics alike.

Director and Cast

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos

Main Cast:

  1. Colin Farrell as Dr. Steven Murphy
  2. Nicole Kidman as Anna Murphy
  3. Barry Keoghan as Martin
  4. Raffey Cassidy as Kim Murphy
  5. Sunny Suljic as Bob Murphy
  6. Alicia Silverstone as Martin’s mother

General Concept of the Movie

“The Killing of a Sacred Deer” centers around Dr. Steven Murphy, a successful surgeon, and his family. Their lives take a sinister turn when a teenage boy named Martin enters their lives. Martin’s relationship with Dr. Murphy becomes increasingly ominous as he exacts a disturbing form of revenge for a past tragedy.

The film explores themes of guilt, justice, and the nature of responsibility. It raises questions about the lengths people will go to protect themselves and their loved ones, and the moral dilemmas that arise when faced with impossible choices.

Lanthimos creates a surreal and unsettling atmosphere that permeates every aspect of the film, from its dialogue to its visual style. The characters speak in a stilted and detached manner, adding to the sense of unease that lingers throughout the narrative.

At its core, “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” is a chilling exploration of the darker aspects of human nature, challenging viewers to confront uncomfortable truths about themselves and society as a whole.

Complete Story of the Movie

Dr. Steven Murphy is a successful cardiovascular surgeon with a seemingly perfect life: a loving wife, Anna, and two children, Kim and Bob. However, beneath this facade of contentment lies a dark secret from Steven’s past.

Steven befriends a teenage boy named Martin, whom he meets at a diner. Martin’s father died on Steven’s operating table, and the boy seeks to integrate himself into Steven’s life. Initially, Steven appears to take an interest in Martin out of guilt, offering him gifts and inviting him to his home.

As Martin becomes increasingly ingrained in Steven’s life, his true intentions become clear. He reveals to Steven that he holds him responsible for his father’s death and demands retribution. Martin presents Steven with an ultimatum: he must choose one member of his family to die, or they will all suffer a fate worse than death.

At first, Steven dismisses Martin’s threats as the delusions of a disturbed teenager. However, strange and inexplicable events begin to occur. Bob falls mysteriously ill, losing the ability to walk and refusing to eat. As Steven seeks medical explanations for Bob’s condition, Martin’s influence over their lives becomes undeniable.

Steven’s relationships with his family deteriorate as the pressure mounts. Anna grows increasingly suspicious of Martin and confronts Steven about their relationship. Meanwhile, Martin reveals to Kim that he intends to ask Steven to choose between her and Bob.

As tensions escalate, Steven is forced to confront his past and the consequences of his actions. He grapples with the impossible choice Martin has presented him, torn between his love for his family and his desire to protect himself.

In a climactic showdown, Steven confronts Martin and attempts to reason with him. However, Martin remains resolute in his demand for justice. In a shocking twist, Steven makes his choice, sacrificing one of his family members to save the others.

The film ends on a haunting note, with the repercussions of Steven’s decision reverberating throughout the remaining family members’ lives. “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” leaves viewers with lingering questions about guilt, morality, and the lengths people will go to preserve their own sense of righteousness.

Adaptation from Book

“The Killing of a Sacred Deer” is not adapted from a book; rather, it is an original screenplay written by Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou. Therefore, there is no source material or author to discuss in this context.

Best Features of the Movie

  1. Unsettling Atmosphere: One of the standout features of “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” is its ability to create and maintain an eerie and unsettling atmosphere throughout the film. Director Yorgos Lanthimos employs a variety of techniques, including stark cinematography, minimalist set design, and a haunting musical score, to immerse viewers in a world that feels both familiar and deeply unsettling.
  2. Nuanced Performances: The film boasts exceptional performances from its cast, particularly Colin Farrell and Barry Keoghan. Farrell delivers a nuanced portrayal of Dr. Steven Murphy, a man grappling with guilt and moral ambiguity, while Keoghan imbues the character of Martin with a chilling blend of vulnerability and menace.
  3. Thought-Provoking Themes: “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” explores a range of thought-provoking themes, including guilt, justice, and the nature of responsibility. The film raises questions about the lengths people will go to protect themselves and their loved ones, challenging viewers to confront uncomfortable truths about themselves and society.
  4. Unique Filmmaking Style: Director Yorgos Lanthimos is known for his distinctive filmmaking style, characterized by deadpan delivery, surreal settings, and unconventional narratives. “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” showcases Lanthimos’ talent for creating thought-provoking and visually striking cinema that defies genre conventions.
  5. Twists and Turns: The film keeps audiences on the edge of their seats with its unexpected twists and turns. Just when viewers think they have a grasp on the story, Lanthimos subverts expectations, leading to a series of shocking revelations and a thrilling conclusion.
  6. Compelling Storytelling: At its core, “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” is a compelling and deeply unsettling story that lingers in the mind long after the credits roll. Lanthimos masterfully weaves together elements of psychological thriller and horror to create a film that is as thought-provoking as it is disturbing.

Critics’ Reception

“The Killing of a Sacred Deer” received widespread critical acclaim upon its release. Critics praised the film’s chilling atmosphere, stellar performances, and thought-provoking themes.

Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian described the film as “a brilliantly controlled piece of work” and praised Lanthimos’ direction and the performances of Farrell and Kidman.

In his review for Variety, Guy Lodge hailed the film as “a work of robustly entertaining formalism” and commended its “clinical precision” and “subtle, full-blooded performances.”

Overall, “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” garnered praise for its originality, craftsmanship, and ability to provoke thought and discussion.

Reasons to Watch the Movie

  1. Unique and Unsettling Atmosphere: “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” offers a truly unique cinematic experience, with its unsettling atmosphere and thought-provoking themes.
  2. Stellar Performances: The film features exceptional performances from its cast, particularly Colin Farrell and Barry Keoghan, that elevate the material and draw viewers into the story.
  3. Thought-Provoking Themes: “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” raises important questions about guilt, justice, and the nature of responsibility, making it a compelling and intellectually stimulating viewing experience.
  4. Directorial Vision: Director Yorgos Lanthimos brings his distinctive style and vision to the film, creating a work that is as visually striking as it is narratively engaging.
  5. Unexpected Twists: The film keeps audiences guessing with its unexpected twists and turns, leading to a thrilling and satisfying conclusion.
  6. Critical Acclaim: “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” received widespread critical acclaim, making it a must-watch for fans of thought-provoking cinema.

Other Similar Movies

  1. “Dogtooth” (2009) – Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, this Greek film explores themes of control, isolation, and the nature of reality.
  2. The Lobster” (2015) – Another film by Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Lobster” is a dark comedy that examines societal norms and the pursuit of love in a dystopian world.
  3. “Mother!” (2017) – Directed by Darren Aronofsky, this psychological horror film delves into themes of creation, destruction, and the nature of art.
  4. “Enemy” (2013) – Directed by Denis Villeneuve, this mind-bending thriller stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a man who discovers his exact double and becomes embroiled in a surreal and increasingly unsettling mystery.
  5. “The Witch” (2015) – Directed by Robert Eggers, this atmospheric horror film follows a Puritan family in 1630s New England as they confront supernatural forces in the wilderness.
  6. “Black Swan” (2010) – Directed by Darren Aronofsky, this psychological thriller stars Natalie Portman as a ballet dancer who becomes increasingly unhinged as she prepares for the lead role in “Swan Lake.”

 

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