Dogtooth is the story of 3 adults and their parents who condition them to see the world differently, and one woman's struggle to escape. Dogtooth is a brilliant study of human conditioning and the tremendous effects it can have on the mind. The film opens with two nameless young women listening to a recording of incorrect definitions of mundane objects. The two women and their brother are the children of parents who attempt to condition them to understand the world in a surrealist type way to the point of psychopathology. While the sisters focus on teaching themselves medical jargon, their brother participates in unsatisfying sexual activity with Christina, the only outsider permitted on their isolated property. All the characters remain nameless, but consist of a father, mother, two sisters, and a brother.
Click here to see the rest of this review
Christina and the father are the only two people who are allowed to enter and leave the home and go past the gates, while the rest of the family remains ignorant prisoners, the mother seemingly by choice. The core of the story details the lives of the children, they play blindfolded games with their mother, practice CPR, and trade shoulder licks for headbands. They constantly remain obedient to their parents remaining inside the gate for fear of the dangerous unknown, as their parents make up a story of their older brother's demise because he disobeyed and went past the gate without losing his dogtooth first. The parents constantly remind their children throughout that the only way to leave the property is to first lose their dogtooth.
Christina takes advantage of the clueless children making the eldest daughter perform sexual acts on her in exchange for a headband and presenting that same daughter with a few mainstream films, Rocky IV and Flashdance. The father reacts aggressively, attacking Christina for opening up his daughter's eyes to the real world, but it's too late to quell his daughter's desire to see the outside world. Once it is clear that Christina is no longer welcome to the home, the parents decide to have their son pick one of his sisters to fornicate with. He chooses the elder daughter and they have uncomfortable incestuous intercourse which ends in her threatening her brother by using a passage from Rocky IV.
During a family meal that's a celebration of the parents wedding anniversary, the children perform a dance for their parents, but the eldest daughter enacts the choreography from Flashdance much to the dismay of her parents. Later that evening with the desire to escape at its peak, the eldest daughter uses a dumbbell to knock out her 'dogtooth'. Relieved and hopeful, the daughter runs outside and goes into the trunk of her father's car, the only vehicle that she'd ever seen leave past the gates. When the father discovers the blood and tooth in the bathroom the family searches for her, but ultimately give up.
In the morning the father drives to work leaving his car unattended and daughter left in the trunk, her fate remains unknown.
Best part of story, including ending:
The story is extremely compelling and it's impossible to look away. It's visually stunning with great performances by the actors, and it's so deeply twisted that it borders on the darkest form of comedy.
Best scene in story:
The best scene by far is when the eldest daughter knocks out her dogtooth. You see a glint of hope in this incredibly tainted world that she's living in and as a viewer you want her to escape at all costs. Her smile, though bloody, is the climax of the movie and it makes the unconventional nature of it all worth it completely.
Opinion about the main character:
The main character, the eldest daughter, is not relatable. At least not at first. It takes a while to start to really feel for these nameless characters because their circumstances are so unique. By the end she's a true protagonist and her actions are valiant in their own right.