Joseph Losey directs Dirk Bogarde, James Fox and Sarah Miles in this Harold Pinter scripted thriller where a man-servant takes over his new employer’s life and home.
If you loved Parasite then this will blow your mind. Bogarde is utterly brilliant as the ambiguous, elusive and insidious butler. His motivations never fully revealed, he seduces and ingratiates his way into dominating his employer completely. He starts quiet yet slowly becomes rampant – a sexually attractive and threatening presence living in the other half’s home. And he likes how they live. You never have a doubt he isn’t fully in control of events even if his devious plan seems riskily counterproductive at junctures. The great thing about Losey’s direction is you can approach The Servant as a spot-on class allegory that essays and predicts the era’s societal shifts, an unpredictable noir mystery or a very daring, dark romance. Losey and Pinter approach desire as oblivion and attraction as a weapon. This is the finest variation on the director’s house themes and style I’ve yet watched.
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