Friday, October 12, 2012

‘Seven Psychopaths’ plus a shih tzu and a rabbit

I never saw In Bruges, so I had no idea what to expect from British playwright, screenwriter and director Martin McDonagh. I knew going in to the screening of his Seven Psychopaths that it starred a quartet of great character actors -- Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell -- and the folks who saw the premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival loved it, even bestowing it the honor of the Midnight Madness audience prize. 

It’s an intriguing story: A struggling, could-be-alcoholic Irish screenwriter in Los Angeles named Marty (Farrell) has a great title for his next blockbuster movie, "Seven Psychopaths," but not much more than that. That is, until his friend Billy (Rockwell) and a man named Hans (Walken), who run a low-stakes dog-napping scam returning purloined pooches for rewards, decide to help. When Billy and Hans accidently steal the Shih Tzu of a hardened gangster (Woody Harrelson), Marty finds himself thrust into a twisted criminal underworld filled with more madness, violence and hilarious psychopaths than he ever could have imagined. Quickly the blank pages of his script become real life characters, himself included.

CBS Films' comedy Seven Psychopaths photo by Chuck Zlotnick
Five minutes after the movie started, I was looking for an exit and a towel. It is bloody violent -- but it’s a dark comedy (pitch dark, as one critic put it) about seven unstable individuals. And just when you're ready to bolt, the violence stops and a different side to the characters -- their quirky, vulnerable, humorous and child-like traits -- are revealed, causing us to care (even like them) enough to stick around and see what happens.
Rockwell is especially funny as Martin's best friend/co-scribe and psychopath, as is Walken who, along with the adorable Shih Tzu, steals many of the scenes. 

Seven Psychopaths is a hoot at times, and then disturbing, and then clever, not unlike the human mind.

"The biggest coup about the whole thing," said Farrell, in a story by the LA Times, "is that as violent as it is, and irreverent and has as much profanity and chaos and anarchic intentions, it's a really sweet film about friendship and love and putting old ghosts to bed."

It’s considered a crime comedy, but the complexity of the clowns in this movie deliver lines that cause you to think, a tad, before you chuckle.

If you want a tip on what to get your teenage son for Christmas this year, might I suggest a knitted dog hat (like the one Rockwell wears in the film) or a Christopher Walken T-shirt (like the one Rockwell wore to the film's premiere). Both items are sure to make the holiday hotlist following the movie's opening in theaters today.
This film is, of course, rated R. 

No comments:

Post a Comment