Kinds Of Kindness Movie Review

“Kinds of Kindness” is a Russian nesting doll of a movie. This means that the main movie is only shell that contains three smaller mini-movies. The same actors appear in all three shorts playing different roles in each one. Is this three-in-one approach a way to please the audience? Of this just an example of the ‘Kinds of Creepiness’ that the Writer/Director wants to focus on?


The Director Yorgos Lanthimos (also co-writer) has made many divisive movies in the past, but recently has been involved with ones with Box Office success. But here he travels back to some earlier works, and makes a movie that is difficult to watch. Well, three movies — because there are three smaller segments that make up the movie. All three refer to a mystery man with the initials R.M.F. — and this is a small side character (played by Yorgos Stefanakos).



First segment “The Death of R.M.F”: This revolves around a story about a man named Robert (played by Jesse Plemons). He works for a corporate big shot named Raymond (played by Willem Dafoe). Robert has an unusual life, in which everything that he does is dictated by Raymond. Every day, every hour, and every task that Robert should do — it is written down and directed by Raymond. Raymond is married to woman named Vivian (played by Margaret Qualley).


Robert and his wife Sarah (played by Hong Chau) are all arranged to do whatever Raymond wants. But Robert refuses to follow through when he is told to cause a traffic accident that would kill a person named R.M.F. He is fired from his job and Sarah leaves him. He meets a woman at a bar and her name is Rita (played by Emma Stone).


Robert pursues Rita and thinks he can win her heart, in the same way that he had done with Sarah. But back then he was taking orders from Raymond about how to do it correctly. He gets injured this time. Robert then sees that Rita is somehow in the same situation that he used to be in — that is, taking all orders from Raymond. Robert decides to try and finish his original task.



The second segment “R.M.F. is Flying”: A policeman named Daniel (again, Jesse Plemons) has a patrol partner and neighbor named Neil (played by Mamoudou Athie). Neil and his wife Martha (again, Margaret Qualley) try to support the troubled Daniel. His wife is missing, and might be dead. His missing wife is Liz (again, Emma Stone), who is a marine biologist. Her father is named George (again, Willem Dafoe).


Then Liz shows up once more, and everyone is happy. Martha and Neil are happy. Liz’s father George is happy. But not Daniel — he is not happy. Why? Daniel is convinced that the person who came home is not his wife Liz. Her feet are too big…


Daniel becomes more and more obsessed that ‘Liz’ is a fake. He loses his appetite and will have nothing to do with ‘Liz’. He shocks his partner Neil out on patrol by being out-of-control. Even talking to the helicopter pilot who saved ‘Liz’, a man known only as R.M.F. — even this does not convince Daniel that ‘Liz’ is the real deal.


Daniel gets more disturbing in what he asks ‘Liz’ to do. What ‘Liz’ finally does to please Daniel makes it seem that he might have lost his mind. That is, until the doorbell rings — and there is a long-lost love that Daniel has been waiting for…



The third segment “R.M.F. Eats a Sandwich”: There is a bizarre cult that has a leader named Omi (Willem Dafoe) and his partner Aka (Hong Chau). They lead a group that is looking for pure, natural healer — known only from prophesy. This person will be able to heal, and even raise a person from the dead.


Out looking for this mystery woman is Emily (Emma Stone) and her assistant Andrew (Jesse Plemons) They have some special water from the cult, that is water blessed with tears from Omi and Aka. They are searching for a surviving twin sister, where the one twin has passed away — and remaining twin has special powers. They find out about the twins Ruth and Rebecca (Margaret Qualley).


Ruth is still alive, and this breaks the rules. But if she were dead, then her sister Rebecca could be found to have the powers of healing and resuscitation. Emily has a husband named Joseph (played by Joe Alwyn) — and he is not happy with Emily being part of the cult. He does something horrible to her, in order to get her kicked out of the group.


Emily is turned out of the cult, and must now be shunned by Andrew — on orders by Omi and Aka. She is not longer ‘pure’ and cannot be part of the group. Ruth takes care of the ‘problem’ of her still being alive. Rebecca is a Vet and cares for animals. Emily finds a stray dog and mistreats it badly to get in and see Rebecca.


Rebecca treats the poor dog, and Emily thinks that Rebecca has miraculous healing powers. She kidnaps Rebecca and takes her to a morgue. The on-duty attendant (Mamoudou Athie) lets Emily and Rebecca see a dead body of someone called R.M.F. Rebecca shows great strength, and Emily rushes her away to show her off to Omi and Aka.


But if there is something that can go wrong — of course it will go terribly wrong. This story — just like the two that went before it — ends on a really sour note of anger, despair and depravity. Perhaps as a Writer or Director — Yorgos Lanthimos has some type of grand vision for the audience. But — probably not…



“Kinds of Kindness” consists of three parts that make up the whole. But in this case, the sum of segments does not equal the whole of the movie. Each segment seems to showcase the “Kinds of Depravity” that comes from the mind of the Director. The entire movie is a tribute to the “Kinds of Self-Indulgence” that will satisfy this Director.


All the acting is really good. However, Emma Stone, Jesse Plemons, Willem Dafoe and the others are given nothing much to work with. These are not characters as much as chess pieces meant to be moved around a board. Mostly all of them are Pawns. All of them try as they might to bring some spark of life to the forgettable chumps they play.


Yorgos Lanthimos has a distinct style and world vision. But his movies are a very ‘acquired taste’. Most of these stories in the three segments might have been worth one full-sized movie. If only he had given as much time to developing some honest characters. As it is now – the idea of the “triptych fable” winds up feeling more like a gimmick. Another sour note is the soundtrack….


“Kinds of Kindness” is movie that might not be for everyone. But if you can appreciate the lack of well thought-out characters or the lack any real story, or any logical conclusion – this one might be for you.

Kinds of Kindness

Directed by: Yorgos Lanthimos
Written by: Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthimis Filippou
Starring: Emma Stone, Jesse Plemons, Willem Dafoe, Margaret Qualley, Hong Chau, Joe Alwyn, Mamoudou Athie, Hunter Schafer
Cinematography: Robbie Ryan
Edited by: Yorgos Mavropsaridis
Music by: Jerskin Fendrix
Distributed by: Searchlight Pictures
Release date: June 28, 2024
Length: 165 minutes
MPAA rating: R for strong/disturbing violent content, strong sexual content, full nudity and language
Genre: Dark Comedy



Rating contributor: JMcNaughton tmc

I think movies need to be shared and enjoyed by as many people as possible! Going to a movie theater is a group experience, even if you go in there alone. When the lights go dark and movie begins, you can participate in a special kind of magic. You can be entertained, or enlightened. But you are never bored. Or at least, let's hope not. Try reading the reviews first.. maybe that will help!

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