When was the final time a film shocked you?

We’re not speaking a few torrent of blood and guts, or the umpteenth unbelievable plot twist. Think about a scene that fully catches the viewer off guard.

We get such a second within the Scandinavian import “Good Boy,” one of many 12 months’s nastiest surprises. The much less mentioned concerning the story, the higher, however simply comprehend it touches on relationship mores, cultural upheaval and, after all, the oldest canard within the relationship handbook.

Should love canines.

Sigrid (Katrine Lovise Øpstad Fredriksen) simply desires to satisfy a pleasant man, and he or she thinks she struck gold with Christian (Gard Løkke). He’s tall, good-looking, a whiz within the kitchen and, as she learns later, obscenely wealthy.

There’s only one catch (and there at all times is, proper?).

Christian lives with a grown man who pretends to be a canine named Frank. Sure, Frank wears a furry blue/grey canine costume full with a snout. It’s not remotely convincing, however his fixed panting and constancy to the half positive is.

Deal breaker you say? To not Sigrid, who’s a little bit of a large number however determined to be open to any new expertise. The movie’s commentary on relationship tropes and our collective tolerance is scrumptious and understated.

Sigrid pushes ahead, spending extra time with Christian and even scratching Frank behind his faux ears.

At this level, we crave extra details about the Christian-Frank dynamic, which is why the plot abstract portion of this evaluate is formally over.

Simply know first-time filmmaker Scandinavian filmmaker Viljar Bøe tells his story with most effectivity whereas letting the important thing gamers reveal themselves in tantalizing bursts.

Sigrid is at all times late, spends an excessive amount of time on her telephone and isn’t positive the place her research will take her. She’s nonetheless a sort, soul open to nearly something.

That trait will turn out to be useful.

Christian is a management freak, however there’s a unhappiness to his immaculate exterior. It could clarify his distinctive dwelling association.

“Good Boy” unleashes its shock mid-movie, turning a tightly coiled curiosity right into a profoundly entertaining affair.

There’s a catch right here, too.

The movie’s third act requires an excessive suspension of disbelief, however should you take into account the surreal setup it doesn’t take a lot effort. It’s far simpler to get misplaced within the story, one which feels vibrant and open to interpretation.

Is that this a commentary on the male/feminine relationship dynamic? Our willingness to just accept nearly any cultural deviation for worry of being labeled a hater, or worse? Does “Good Boy” slay the PatriarchyTM much better than “Barbie” ever might?

It’s laborious to get “Good Boy” out of your head. Even higher? It’s unattainable to look away as soon as Frank enters the body.

HiT or Miss: “Good Boy” brims with meaty subjects, all wrapped in a brisk, 80-minute tear.