Seven Psychopaths - Offbeat, Hysterical Black Comedy

                                   Tommy: "Was it Dillinger who got shot through the eyeball or am I thinking of  somebody else."  Larry: "Moe Greene got shot through the eyeball in Godfather." Tommy: "Yeah, I am talking about in real life." 
                                   Tommy (Michael Stuhlbarg) and Larry (Michael Pitt) are the hit-men who are talking idly before waiting to shoot a girl through the eyeball. But, they are surprised when a man walks behind them and shoots them through their eyeballs. Yeah, we have seen this kind of world before -- the world of contemplations on foot massage and Royale with the Cheese. This is the world of Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, which has inspired countless good movies (Snatch, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Go) to many over-cooked borderline unwatchable movies(The Revolver, Smokin' Aces etc). Martin McDonagh's "Seven Psychopaths" (2012) is one of those good movies set in the quirky crime world and like that above mentioned dialogues, it's all brutal good fun.
        Marty (Colin Farrell) is working on a script entitled "Seven Psychopaths." He has hit a writer's block and is suffering from drinking problems. Marty's problems with his girl friend Kaya (Abbie Cornish) is already simmering when we meet the unhappy couple. His friend, Billy (Sam Rockwell) is an jobless actor and he along with his calm partner Hans (Christopher Walken) are in the part-time business of dognapping. Billy  is desperate to collaborate on the project with Marty, if only the two can find a way to bridge their creative differences. Billy even places an ad in the newspapers calling all psychos to help with research.          

                When Billy and Hans are involved in the theft of a Shih Tzu belonging to a murderous crime boss, Charlie Costello (Woody Harrelson). Charlie already has problems with his girl friend and there is also a shadowy assassin taking out his his men. When Charlie kills Hans' cancer-ridden Wife, Myra, mayhem arises and all the characters are caught up in an escalating, violent situation.

                  Director McDonagh made an excellent debut with "In Bruges" which has crept up in many guys favorite film lists, partly thanks to its quotability. The dog hostage situation offers an even funnier premise and every time when it appears that he has hit the dead-end, he off-roads the movie into a fresh territory. But, McDonagh's touches on bigger philosophical issues and afterlife are somehow unsatisfying. His conclusion simply seems to be cynical which points out that no one gets out of the world alive.  

McDonagh and Sam Rockwell
                    The film set up reminds us of "Adaptation", "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang", where every movie cliche is followed by a footnote. Many dialogues satirizes the style of film-making in practice: “None of the animals die in the movie—just the women!” and when Marty identifies the seven psychos in his screenplay, Hans laments "You're the one that thought psychopaths were so interesting. They get tiresome after a while, don't you think?" The script is twisty and is refreshingly absurdist. Martin even self-satirizes himself, since his writing talents doesn't include the knack of writing female characters. Through Hans, he sort of provides a running commentary on the state of picture: “Your women characters are awful.” The script also looks more effective when things are kept simple–and moving.  The stand out is the unsettling hospital sequence involving a standoff between Harrelson and the fantastic Linda Bright Clay as Walken’s wife.

                   Colin Farrell looks so good in indie dramas than the hollow-point block-busters like Fright Night or Total Recall. With his communicating eyebrows, Farrell is amicably effective as Marty and delivers his best work since "In Bruges." He underplays as the token non-psychopath. Rockwell's performance as Billy is infectious, really great fun to watch. Walken has acted for nearly four decades and as Hans he once again proves that he is still a great scene-stealer. Walken gets an excellent moment with Harrelson’s gangster that’s as good as his confrontation as gangster with Dennis Hopper in True Romance. As Costello Harrelson brings the right mix of absurdity and humanity into the world of psychopathic crime. The movie also holds some darkly funny cameos from Tom Waits as the rabbit holding psychopath and Harry Dean Stanton.

                    Unlike In Bruges – which had delivered more substance – this flick never pretends to be anything but a perfectly cast darkly funny movie. The smart perceptions about lazy film-making still apply to this movie as much as to the most average shoot ’em up ones. May be not the best, but "Seven Psychopaths" with all its craziness, is sure is an entertaining one.


Seven Psychopaths - IMDb 

1 comment:

Noopur said...

Good one!!

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