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  • Writer's pictureJamie

Kinds of Kindness

Kinds of Kindness feels like a difficult film to talk about. It’s three anthology stories, only connected through a minor character, R.M.F. The rest of the characters are new to each story, with different world rules and dynamics. There are actors that pop up in all three, with an impressively different portrayal in each iteration. This is the film following Poor Things from Yorgos Lanthimos, probably his most commercial and critically acclaimed film to date, so I imagine a lot of people are going to be very shocked at Kinds of Kindness, harkening back to the batshit of Lanthimos. 


I’m going to briefly describe the three of the shorts, with minimal spoilers. 

We start off with Robert (Jesse Plemons)  who is a man working for Raymond (Willem Dafoe), where he is given instructions everyday to do exactly as Raymond says, where in return, he will give him everything, a house, a car and has even set him up with his wife, Sarah (Hong Chau). When Raymond’s requests go against Robert’s morals, he questions his affiliations and if what he is being asked to do is worth it. 

Our second story follows Daniel (Jesse Plemons), dealing with the loss of his wife, Liz (Emma Stone) as she has been lost at sea for some time now. With some good news that she has been found, Daniel and Liz’s father, George (Willem Dafoe) rush to the hospital to see her. Once she comes home, small things feel off about Liz to Daniel and he becomes suspicious if the Liz living in his home is his wife at all. 

The final story starts off with Emily (Emma Stone) doing some medical tests on Anna (Hunter Schafer) in order to see if she is “the one”. They do some more tests and realise she is not, as they give up on her, heading out to continue their search. Joining her in the tests is Andrew (Jesse Plemons), her husband. They have limited water supply, only using water from a large canister. 

They drive a nice car, and stay in a low quality motel while on the search, but it seems like their base of operations is in Omi (Willem Dafoe) and Aka’s (Hong Chau) giant mansion. There is a lot of emphasis on contamination with the women in this particular story, where Aka seems to be the one to do the testing. When Emily’s search for the one takes her off track and shakes up the life she is living, she has to claw her way back to normality during the search. 


So, they’re weird, and a lot of it is still settling in with me in terms of meanings or not meanings. There is something about Lanthimos that just makes me enjoy it, even if I am completely lost as to what is going on deeper down. His style is so brash and in your face, with straight to the point dialogue and an obsession with sexuality and bodies. It can be an intense watch sometimes. It always takes me a little bit to get into the style but I think the ease into the story with the first short makes it so that you don’t have that crazy jump from real life to Lanthimos world. Each story has its own little mysteries to unravel which I have enjoyed talking to people afterwards on and hearing what others took from the film. 

I always appreciate this with films, when I know there is something under the surface that I can’t quite see, but I know its there. There is a difference between weird for the sake of weird, with no substance, I don’t really latch onto that when watching films, but Kinds of Kindness has that murky meaning within its madness, making it exciting to figure out. 


Its also a really funny film, which I think you come to expect from a Yorgos film. Mostly coming from the dialogue with some visual gags in there too. It is balanced with cringe inducing violence or uncomfortable situations, pushing you back from connecting with the film. 

Other than R.M.F, the only other consistency in this film is the look and sound of it. It doesn’t switch up much of the aesthetic between the three, and the minimal yet maximal score adds a lot to the film, matching to all three of the shorts. 


So while I still process some of this, I do it fondly and excitedly. I’m going to give this one a rewatch later on this month and I hope to take a lot more from the deeper layers, even if I don’t my stupid monkey brain still did have an excellent time, so no losses either way. 

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