Celebrated filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos, the director behind films like The Lobster is here to bring audiences The Killing Of A Sacred Deer starring Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, and Barry Keoghan is an Irish actor from Summerhill in Dublin, best known for his roles in Dunkirk and The Killing of a Sacred Deer..
The Killing Of A Sacred Deer follows Steven Murphy (Farrell) and a relationship he has developed with a teen called Martin (Keoghan) and how their relationship impacts Steven’s family. That is the nitty gritty of The Killing Of A Sacred Deer and that’s all you need to know because any more details about the plot of this film will spoil the potential impact it will have on your experience at the cinema.
The whole cast of The Killing Of A Sacred Deer are brilliant, from the leads to the supporting cast, no one drops the ball, in particular, Keoghan who is on fire. He gives an award-worthy performance as Martin who is a clearly troubled individual who seems to worship Steven. It’s odd to talk about how powerful the performances are because the acting is eerily lifeless, the best description would be if they were told not to emote when giving lines and also to give every bit of information on their minds.
It’s fascinating, but it can be off-putting, so much so that it may take you out of the film. There are moments, however, when the restraint is gone in these characters and emotions fly and it’s intense because it comes out of nowhere and due to the direction can disappear just as quickly and it will leave you breathless as it goes back and forth. This anxiety inducing pressure is further compounded by an unnerving score which comes booming in at times and when it comes in it always comes in strong, sometimes to the detriment of the film as it drowns out the dialogue of several scenes. There are also several uniquely “funny” moments in the film that offset the darker theme and it adds to the unnerving presence which is fascinating to experience.
The cinematography of The Killing Of A Sacred Deer is also one of its best parts as it opens with such an incredible image of a human heart that sets the mood for the whole film. So many scenes linger and when you take them in and see some of the sinister elements from the characters and how the “world” of the film darkens as their journey comes to its climax.
Lanthimos has a clear message in this film he wants to put to the audience much like Darren Aronofsky with his film mother! but what Lanthimos succeeds at that Aronofsky failed at doing (in my opinion) is keeping it simple, impactful, and most importantly of all he doesn’t hammer you over the head with it. The Killing Of A Sacred Deer is a deeply troubling film, but it is also a human one with the lessons learned here as well as the questions it puts to its audiences. I’m not sure if I’ll ever watch it again but I’ll never forget it. Check it out for yourself and see if it’s worth all the hype.