There is no logical reason that I, of all people, should be writing a review on this movie. I hate watching anything overtly gory and violent, and I still close my eyes during the scary parts in horror movies. Not that this movie is overtly gory (well except for that one part) or scary, but it has those moments where your mind is convinced Quentin Tarantino must be hiding in the background somewhere orchestrating some of this madness. Alas, this movie was pretty great, even for a pansy like me.
Screenwriter Marty, played by Colin Farrell, is efficiently putting off writing his latest screenplay. He knows the general concept of what he wants to write about: psychopaths. His friend Billy, played by Sam Rockwell, is quite enthusiastic about this screenplay and is hinting strongly that he would like to help Marty write this screenplay. Marty makes one thing clear about this particular screenplay. He does not want this story of various psychopaths to end the typical way of pain, blood and more violence. He is thinking more along the line of peace and redemption. No problem, right? Just figure out how to write a movie about seven people suffering from a chronic mental disorder and violent social behavior, with a tidy bow wrapped around it before the end credits.
It is a good thing that he has a devoted friend like Billy – who goes behind his back and puts an ad in the paper seeking true stories from local psychopaths – to help his buddy overcome his writer’s block.
As if Marty does not have enough on his plate, Billy – who just so happens to be a professional dog-napper – is working alongside his Polish friend Hans (Christopher Walken) luring dogs away from the their owners, and then conveniently showing up to collect the cash rewards for these missing pooches. If there is a list of proper etiquette when dealing with psychopaths, I think it is safe to say that “Do not steal their dog” has got to be somewhere on that list. When Billy gets his hands on a cute little Shih Tzu named Bonny, he finds out, unfortunately, that this dog belongs to Charlie (Woody Harrelson). Oh, and in case you were wondering, Charlie is one of the seven-featured psychopaths in this film.
Now, slightly on the run, Marty would just like to save his own neck, Hans becomes emotionally involved in the situation, and Billy is as eager as ever to help Marty finish this screenplay. What better way to get through writer’s block than being hunted by an actual psychopath, right? On top of all of the chaos, there is a response to Billy’s ad in the paper.
Through a combination of flashbacks and collaborative brainstorming, we see each of these seven psychopaths blossom in this brilliant and daringly original film. Director and writer Martin McDonagh strips away the usual “psychopath” clichés, wherein the psychopath is portrayed as elusive and frightening, and instead brings you into his living room where he tenderly strokes a bunny while telling you his story.
The greatest attribute of this film is the witty, thought-provoking dialogue. I never thought I would laugh as much as I did. I highly recommend this film.
I am curious as to what you will think about this crazy-ass film, dear reader. I hope that you find it as brilliant as I did. With all of that being said, I must add that if you are sensitive to violence and strong language, you may want to look elsewhere. This is a movie that earns its R-rating, so fair warning.
Can a movie featuring psychopaths have a happy ending? Does Christopher Walken play a convincing Polish man? Are Shih Tzu’s really that cute? These are all questions that you must answer for yourselves (maybe not necessarily in that order), my offbeat film friends. As for the rest of you, I think you’ll like it too!