Today’s word of the day is castigation, which M-W defines as, “to subject to severe punishment, reproof, or criticism”. In a bit of synchronicity, I watched a library loan movie, “Force Majeure” (2014), aka “Turist”, last night, which is a meticulous study of castigation. Imdb gives the minimal description, “A family vacationing in the French Alps is confronted with a devastating avalanche.” It’s all I knew when I went into it, aside from the jacket saying it was a dark comedy. Let me say that I find very little about this film funny! It takes a person with an incisive sense of humor to appreciate it as such. It made me tense and I wanted to stop watching, but I had to find out how it ended.
It’s a Swedish film, with subtitles (for non-Swedish language speakers). It is written and directed by Ruben Ostlund, who also directed The Square (2017) (which I also saw recently and felt was similarly intense).
The setting is the Alps, at a posh ski complex. The shots of the lodge and the mountains are exquisite and there are some excellent shots of downhill skiing.
If you choose to watch it, it’s best that you don’t know too much about the plot. I won’t say who gets castigated, but it won’t take you long to figure it out. If you do see it, I’d be interested in hearing what you think about it.