‘Kinds of Kindness’ Movie Review: Weird AF (But in a Good Way)

Kinds of Kindness Movie Review

Yorgos Lanthimos’ latest film Kinds of Kindness is a weird, wild ride that will leave audiences talking long after the credits roll. And while most of my fellow film critics weren’t quite sure of their feelings on this one, I actually enjoyed it – even more the longer I’ve sat with my thoughts.

Kinds of Kindness delves into the darker aspects of human nature through three interconnected stories. Lanthimos’ direction is as assured as ever, brilliantly creating an unsettling atmosphere that permeates the entire film. And the discordant score by Jerskin Fendrix adds to the unease, becoming almost a character in itself… take a look at the trailer below.

Kinds of Kindness Movie Trailer

Kinds of Kindness Movie Review: What I Did and Didn’t Like

What I liked most about Kinds of Kindness is its unpredictability. You never know where Lanthimos will take the narrative next, which keeps you engaged throughout the lengthy runtime, which is a little shy of three hours.

The performances from the ensemble cast are fantastic, with Jesse Plemons and Emma Stone standing out in their respective roles across the three segments. However, the film’s disturbing content and graphic violence may be off-putting for some viewers. Lanthimos doesn’t shy away from depicting cruelty, self-harm, and even animal abuse, which can be difficult to watch at times.

Emma Stone in Kinds of Kindness
Emma Stone in Kinds of Kindness / Photo Credit: Searchlight Pictures

The Script

The first story, “The Death of R.M.F.,” follows Robert (Plemons), a man whose life is controlled by his domineering boss Raymond (Willem Dafoe). When Robert refuses to obey an order, he faces dire consequences. This story is perhaps the most grounded of the three, exploring themes of power dynamics, control, and free will.

In the second story, “R.M.F. Is Flying,” Plemons plays a police officer whose wife, Liz (Stone), returns after being lost at sea. However, despite her identical appearance, he becomes convinced that she isn’t really his wife. This part explores the complexities of trust and identity within a marriage, as well as the destructive nature of emotional abuse, as Plemons’ character attempts to force his wife to remain the same person she was before her disappearance, prioritizing his own comfort over her growth and well-being.

The final third, “R.M.F. Eats A Sandwich,” sees Stone as Emily, a woman who joins a cult led by the enigmatic Omi (Dafoe). She and another member, Andrew (Plemons), are tasked with finding an individual with special abilities. This story examines the lengths people will go to please a controlling figure and be accepted.

Kinds of Kindness
Margaret Qualley, Jesse Plemons and Willem Dafoe in Kinds of Kindness / Photo Credit: Searchlight Pictures

The Performances

The acting throughout Kinds of Kindness is nothing short of masterful, with the cast seamlessly transitioning between their different roles in each story. Plemons showcases his range, portraying a subservient employee, a suspicious husband, and a rigid follower. Stone is equally impressive, particularly as the determined Emily in the final segment (A side note here – her dancing talent here might even surpass her moves in La La Land… which is really saying something).

Overall Thoughts

Overall, Kinds of Kindness is a challenging but rewarding watch for those willing to embrace Lanthimos’ odd and unique vision. It’s not a film for everyone (in fact, I would say it’s for a very, very small group of movie fans), as the graphic content and bleak themes can be overwhelming at times. However, for viewers who appreciate thought-provoking cinema that pushes boundaries, this is a must-see.

While it may not reach the heights of some of Lanthimos’ previous work, Kinds of Kindness is still a bold and uncompromising exploration of the human psyche. It’s a film that will stay with you long after you watch it, sparking discussions about power, control, and the lengths we’ll go to maintain them.

Kinds of Kindness Movie Review

Grade: A-


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *