“What happened to your hand?” “Oh, just a bit of mischief.”
The Square could easily be an Australian cousin to Blood Simple, only the new film’s downward spiral of bad choices, worse reactions and overall subterfuge goes much deeper and affects more people than the early Coen brothers’ noir. The film feels deceptively fresh; made in 2008, it is only making it into U.S. theaters this month.
Starting with some quiet infidelity, The Square quickly ramps up to assault, robbery, arson, murder, extortion, blackmail and fraud, with a few accidental deaths along the way. Ray (David Roberts) is a construction foreman trying to beat deadlines on a new resort hotel, and his moral compass is off by a few degrees: he’s accepted the kickback offered by a local cement supplier, and he’s having an affair with hairdresser Carla (Claire van der Boom).