Kinds of Kindness Review – a bloated poor thing that failed to make me care

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Fresh off his Academy Award-nominated film, Yorgos Lanthimos returns to the big screen with his latest film, Kinds of Kindness. Lanthimos paired with Efthimis Flippou to write the script, which sees him reunited with Emma Stone, who recently won the Oscar for Best Actress in Lanthimos’ Poor Things, and she stars alongside Academy-Award nominated Jesse Plemons and Willem Dafoe.

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The Plot

Kinds of Kindness is three films within one that follows the story of a man seeking to break free of his predetermined path, a cop who questions whether or not his wife is real upon her return from an apparent drowning, and a woman who is looking for a specific person to become a spiritual guide.

Kinds of Kindness Critique

Kinds of Kindness | Distribution: Searchlight Pictures
Kinds of Kindness | Distribution: Searchlight Pictures

Mass manipulation was the first word that came to mind when I watched Kinds of Kindness. Screenplays can often take control of the mind and carry you on a journey through the writer’s mind, where they enter your brain, asking you to trust them. Lanthimos, deservedly after his brilliant film Poor Things, is the type of director who has earned that trust.

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However, in this script, you see Lanthimos’s attempt to control the viewer in the same way the characters were being controlled by Raymond (Dafoe) and the story in the first act. Like his counterpart Robert (Plemons), you sought to get away because nothing within this world was worthy of staying. It’s almost as if you are being brainwashed by this cult, but the principles of what the cult represented, you wanted not part of.

The film is three separate films wrapped up in one, and the story never fully comes together to make it a cohesive movie. I’ve seen many critics laud Kinds of Kindness for how it left the idea of interpretation of the viewer, which I get because you walk away putting pieces together. That said, it doesn’t mean the pieces actually worked, nor does Lanthimos do enough to tie them together for me even to care afterward to put the pieces together.

Emma Stone Kinds of Kindness
Emma Stone in a still from Yorgos Lanthimos’ Kinds of Kindness | Distribution: Searchlight Pictures

Because the three separate films did not work, the bloated run time of two hours and forty minutes feels like an eternity. I mostly enjoyed the first act, but the mind-boggling decision to veer toward a different story made each act an absolute bore. There is no reason this film should’ve been nearly three hours, and it will 100% turn the general audience away from wanting to see this on the big screen.

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Like any Lanthimos film, you can expect great performances because he brings the cream of the crop to work with him. Jesse Plemons continues to show why he is one of the best-working actors for the film’s first two acts. Plemons needs more lead roles because nobody commits to a role better than he does. The first act, Willem Dafoe, was fantastic, but the writing let him down in the following two. Emma Stone was here, but her characters left much to desire outside the fantastic dance sequence we saw in the trailer.

Technically speaking. Kinds of Kindness works for the most part. The production design, the costumes, and the aesthetically pleasing cinematography all come together rather well. Unfortunately, Jerskin Fendrix couldn’t capture that same magic from Poor Things and delivered an utterly underwhelming score. It might’ve been the film, but at some points, it was just overbearing to the end of annoyance.

In Conclusion

Kinds of Kindness is a film that film twitter will love to love, and audiences will probably love to hate. It’s a mass-manipulating, underwhelming follow-up from Yorgos Lanthimos that was a bloated waste of time. No matter how hard I tried, I found myself grasping further and further from the narrative leaving me to the point of wanting to walk out.

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3/10

Kinds of Kindness hits theaters nationwide on June 28th. 

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Written by Ricky Valero

Articles Published: 17

Ricky Valero is based in Nashvile, TN. He has a huge passion for film and tv. He is a proud member of the Critics Choice Association . While not watching movies, he has a huge love for crappy reality dating shows.