Second Opinion – Seven Psychopaths (2012)

Seven Psychopaths, 2012.

Written and Directed by Martin McDonagh.
Starring Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Christopher Walken, Tom Waits, Abbie Cornish, Olga Kurylenko, Željko Ivanek, Michael Pitt, Gabourey Sidibe, Kevin Corrigan, Michael Stuhlbarg and Harry Dean Stanton.


Men steal dogs, there are psychopaths, it gets a bit messy.
The trailers for Seven Psychopaths portray it as a completely different film – the green band trailer in particular sells a movie and characters that you will not be seeing. So be prepared for this, but know that you are in for a great time at the movies.
Seven Psychopaths is quite unique, and because of this it takes a time to really get going. Colin Farrell plays, Marty, a screenwriter living in Los Angeles who is having trouble with his latest project, which just so happens to be titled; Seven Psychopaths. The film follows a strange path as the start of the movie is very slow, very far from a comedy, but there is a reason for this as the script Marty is writing is also the film we are watching. And at the start of the film he hasn’t written anything, he has no main characters, but once the story begins to develop so too does the film itself. It’s a fantastic device that really makes you appreciate what goes in to writing a film and also makes this “comedy” really stand out.
Farrell is joined by Sam Rockwell – in what is quite simply an incredible performance – as, Billy, Marty’s best and slightly “quirky” friend. Rockwell is fantastic, Billy is a character that in a lesser actors hands would have been played extremely flamboyantly which would have I’m sure resulted in more scenery chewing than what Jaws got through on the Orca. But not with Rockwell, even in the moments where the character is outlandish and requires a more out there moment, Rockwell handles it with such brilliant subtlety that he seems like a real, albeit slightly crazy, human being instead of this outlandish annoying caricature He absolutely deserves a Supporting Actor nomination for this.

Christopher Walken, as Billy’s friend Hans, is also on the top of his game. In fact all of the main cast give excellent performances – Farrell and Woody Harrelson, both are brilliant alongside Rockwell and Walken. Apart from Farrell’s character the other 3 parts, like Rockwell’s, might have been played up and to the extreme by far less competent actors, but all are spot on in their subtlety.

When viewing this film you really need to be patient with it at the start, understand why it’s taking its time to get going and appreciate the craftsmanship that has gone in to it and you will be handsomely reward once the 2nd act begins and by the final act you will be very much satisfied as all the strands come together.  There is also a very touching story at it’s heart about friendship, and no matter how strange, or even crazy, some of our friends can be when there is mutual affection and trust we’ll stick by them.

Smart, witty and deathly dark in it’s humour, Seven Psychopaths is one of the best films I’ve seen in a long time.

Flickering Myth Rating: Film ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie ★ ★ ★ ★

Martin Deer

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