The Dinner (2017) Review

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Two brothers along with their wives meet for a very posh dinner as they must talk about something horrible, their sons committing a truly horrific crime together.

I had never actually heard of this film before, but when I came across it on Netflix I thought it with the high quality of the cast that it would be more than worth watching. Don’t ever let that fool you though as this really is a terrible film. I know that sounds a very brutal way to sum it up very early on in a review but I was left frustrated and annoyed with the way the story was told.

Paul Lohman is a former history teacher and we see some flashbacks of his very unsuccessful time attempting to teach, along with his wife Claire they meet his older brother Stan Lohman who is a politician and his second wife Katelyn. Apparently the plan over the dinner was to discuss the crime two of the sons had committed, but were not yet identified. However that was not clear to begin with and it seemed to take a lot of courses to actually reach that discussion and then it was rushed in the final 15 minutes or so.

The narrative for the film is all over the place which certainly does not help. We are briefly taken through events which happened in the past between the two brothers and different events which also happened with Michael and Rick, also Beau who Stan and his first wife Barbara adopted. He was black and we sense a lot of racism towards him especially from Paul. Getting onto Paul, he has some kind of metal illness but again we only get small things around this, nothing is fully explored with this and we are shown a couple of incidents.

That is the big issue with the film we are shown the incidents at different times and nothing really fits together very well. When we are shown what the sons did it was certainly shocking and does show just what parents will do to try to protect them, even when they don’t deserve it at all. The only thing I found slightly interesting was seeing the difference in approach between a mother and father. The female view was to do anything she could to stop her son being charged, even paying money. Whereas the male view was to make them accept what they have done and support them through it.

If we had actually known the story before the dinner and who knew what I think it would have made for better conversation. The dinner was done in a strange way as well with each course being announced and being told with a title screen what course they were onto. So all in all a very strange film that was extremely boring and had the worst ending I have seen in a long time. I guess after watching the film it makes sense why I had not really heard about it, wish I had kept it that way. The performances weren’t anything special as the script made for shouting all at the same time and stropping off away from the table.

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