The Square

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I've occasionally griped about movies that bill themselves as noir that don't really fit my (apparently too-strict) ideas of the genre. But The Square is the real deal, even if it's set in modern-day Australia, and is in color.

See if you don't agree. Raymond is a construction foreman, and he's got problems with both money and sex. Specifically, he's fooling around with Carla while they are both married to other people. He and Carla would like to run off (presumably to a different part of Australia) but they lack finances. So Raymond is arranging for kickbacks from subcontractors, but that's a slow process; what to do?

Well, Carla's hubby is kind of a shady sort; one day she notices him hiding a bag full of cash, no doubt illegally obtained. And even though it's Australian cash, it's still worth something. All they have to do, she tells Raymond, is grab the money and torch its hiding place. Problem solved!

Well, you know how these things turn out: nobody lives happily ever after, and some don't live ever after at all.

The movie has a devilishly twisty plot, and it doesn't help that these blokes are allegedly speaking English: you need subtitles. ("Guhnya" turns out to be "good on you".) I wound up watching it twice to figure out what was going on. I think I got most of it.

There is a very dark-humored microplot involving Raymond and Carla's doggies. It could inspire a new genre: canine noir.

Last Modified 2012-10-02 4:05 PM EST