Seven Psychopaths

The great Christopher Walken as Hans

If there was one movie you could see over the next few months, make it Seven Psychopaths. If you have seen the trailer, then you are probably confused by this statement. It doesn’t look like anything special, right? Wrong. Not only does the trailer do the movie a great injustice, but the lack of publicity in Australia also contributes. The amount of odd looks I have received after passionately recommending this movie to everyone and anyone is proof of this. Yes, the movie is of a particular black comedy style but it is this particular style matched with superb narrative intelligence that makes Seven Psychopaths up there with other cult hits such as Pulp Fiction.

The movie is written and directed by Martin McDonagh who is best known for writing and directing the 2008 black comedy, In Bruges. The screenplay for Seven Psychopaths by McDonagh is excellent. It is funny, dramatic, violent, tragic, well-paced, intricately layered, amusingly metafictive and intelligent. The movie stars Colin Farrell (Total Recall), Christopher Walken (Pulp Fiction), Sam Rockwell (The Green Mile), Woody Harrelson (Zombieland) and Abbie Cornish (Sucker Punch). The performances, particularly those given by Walken and Rockwell, are superb.

Seven Psychopaths follows Farrell’s character, Marty, as he struggles to write a screenplay about seven psychopaths. He soon becomes inadvertently entangled in the LA criminal underworld after his oddball friends (Walken and Rockwell) kidnap a gangster’s (Harrelson) beloved Shih Tzu. From beginning to end, the movie doesn’t let you go. Violently entertaining, Seven Psychopaths is a story about stories, peppered with great acting, dogs and guns. The film is layered with numerous and very entertaining sub-plots, each interwoven seamlessly and conclusively within the main story.   Each sub-plot is also beautifully shot and McDonagh expertly manages turning senseless violence into a catalyst for hope, particularly with Walken’s character and the story of the Vietnamese psychopath.

You may think you are watching a violent and hilarious crime thriller, but you are in fact watching a deconstruction of very clever storytelling. If you like Quentin Tarantino or Guy Richie, you will loveSeven Psychopaths. Overall I give Seven Psychopaths  4.5 out of 5.

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