27 October 2012

Seven Psychopaths A Wonderful Confusion

Seven Psychopaths is a movie that knows in a movie. And revels in it.


I did too.

It's about....Stories. How they are created and refined and made interesting and nurtured. And its also about how characters are what make some stories really interesting and others maybe not. Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson, Tom Waits are particularly good as people playing parts to the hilt. And Harry Dean Stanton just stands around staring for a bit and who could do that better?

Farrell plays a struggling screenwriter with a drinking problem. His head is so far up his arse that he's mean to his delicious girlfriend (Abbie Cornish). He's far nicer to his bit actor buddy (Rockwell) who is a bit of case. Said friend is in cahoots with an older gentlemen (Walken) in the dognapping business. Of course. The duo nab a dog owned by a crime boss (Harrelson) and mayhem ensues although truth to tell there was already mayhem what with some psychopaths loose already one of which we meet at the beginning of the movie -- who is that masked man.

So there are stories told within the larger story we are watching and there are revisions and corrections made and what is real and what is not and where it is all going is a wonderful confusion. This is semi-linear story telling that is enhanced if we suspend the need for constant clarity. Better to enjoy the great affect with which the casts vamps. Harrelson bites huge chunks out of the scenery playing it with all the subtlety of an uppercut. Walken puts on a clinic of acting like a version of his quirkiest self. Hey he's playing a man who doesn't drink but does eat peyote. And by god he will not raise his hands just because you're pointing a gun at him.

Rockwell is a revelation. This guy. Good. Is. We can hope for decades of him on screen bringing his unique every guy quality (assuming this every guy is a bit let us say touched) to performances. I say performances because the man he be performing.

Waits is a guy with a bunny rabbit who details how him and his gal...aw see for yourself.

The movie was written and directed by Martin McDonagh who previously delighted audiences with In Bruges (2008). I like the dialogue he writes. It's character driven and interesting and happily minus cliches. Okay not everybody talks that way but for the love of God if I want to hear how people REALLY talk I'll save the ticket price and ride a fucking bus.

There is violence and blood and shooting galore in Seven Psychopaths. But it manages to telegraph the fact that none of this is to be taken too seriously its really just part of the story being told and could you just relax about it already? There is nothing gruesome or gratuitous.

There are also two interracial couples just because I guess. There's a quaker killer and all I can say is its about time. The Quakers and the Amish have been getting a free pass from Hollywood for too long. Also an ex Viet Cong with a Yale educated prostitute. And oh by the way the movie essentially admits within it that its female characters are mistreated. What movie does that? This one.

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