Seven Psychopaths (2012)

seven psychopathsSeven Psychopaths was a movie that I had heavily anticipated. I wasn’t able to see it until now, because unfortunately the movie had only a limited release, and wasn’t available anywhere near me. But I finally had a chance to see the movie, and I was not disappointed. I was however surprised. I expected a fast paced action comedy film, what I got was a much deeper story, that came off as deeply personal to the writer/director Martin McDonagh.

One of the main characters, played by Colin Farrell is Martin McDonagh himself. Colin Farrell’s character is a writer who is actually writing the movie that we’re watching.  When i first heard this I thought it would just be gimmicky and pointless, but thankfully that’s not the case. This concept ends up being very interesting and is crucial to the plot. In the film an ad is placed in the paper calling all psychopaths to an audition. I feel like the writer may have been struggling for an idea much like the character in the film, and contemplated putting an in the paper. The film might be what he thinks could have happened if he had.

Seven Psychopaths has a great cast. Woody Harrelson, Christopher Walken, Colin Farrell, and Sam Rockwell all give very good performances. All of their characters are surprisingly deep and multilateral. I was really surprised how complex some of these characters were. A movie called Seven Psychopaths better have some f*cking good psychopaths, but I didn’t expect the deep emotional complexity that I found in the characters. Especially in Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken. The entire movie has a very deep and personal glaze over it that raises the film up a couple levels.

The movie has many subplots, which are great but at first feel a little out of place. They all end up tying together really nicely by the end. There are segments in the film where we go to a character’s imagining of the plot. We hear him narrate over events that take place outside of the main story arc. Alright now the cinematography on the whole movie is good, but it was exceedingly more impressive in these sequences. I believe this

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was done on purpose because these moments are supposed to be a “movie” the other parts are supposed to be real live. Adding an extra coat of gloss to the “movie” segments, helps distinguish between sections of the film in a very stylistic way. These segments were done very well. They could have easily been done sloppily, but they are all fully fleshed out ideas of relevance to the plot. These miniature stories are complex and interesting enough to be worth their own films.

Seven Psychopaths is very deep and it is also very funny. the trailer’s made the film look like a straight up comedy, but comedy is more of a side attraction to the story, which is a benefit rather than a hindrance. The comedy all works because the cast is full of funny people who know how to delivery even serious lines in a comedic way. Most of the comedy comes from the contradiction of popular movie stereotypes. The film almost begins to deconstruct other films of it’s genre for comedy. The writing is funny, and the excellent delivery

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from the actors makes the movie a very fun ride.

Seven Psychopaths is very violent, but not in a detractive way. The violence is either used to further the plot, or for the sake of comedy. There’s no violence for the sake of disgusting the viewers, or violence for the sake of having violence. The violence is used in a fun over the top way, but not past the border of ridiculousness. Shooting, stabbing, even burning, all present, none undeserved.

Seven Psychopaths is one of the best and most original films of the year. It makes me want to follow the director. Martin McDonagh has only done one other feature film “In Bruges” which I’ve heard good things about, and intend on seeing. I look forward to future film from Martin McDonagh.

 

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