'Play' is an astute observation based on real cases of bullying from the Palme d'Or-winning director of 'The Square'.
In central Gothenburg, Sweden, a group of boys, aged 12-14, robbed other children on about 40 occasions between 2006 and 2008. The thieves used an elaborate scheme called the ‘little brother number’ or ‘brother trick’, involving advanced role-play and gang rhetoric rather than physical violence.
Ruben Östlund's raw, fly-on-the-wall drama profits from impressive turns by its mostly non-professional cast. Though it deals with issues of racial difference, the film is as concerned with class and social inequality, refusing to proffer any easy answers for the characters' motivations.
★★★★★ "Wildly impolite in the way it addresses our liberal sensibilities, and almost contemptuously rigorous in the workout it wants to give them" - Tim Robey, The Telegraph