Friday, December 23, 2011

Review: Carnage [2011]

The Background:
Release Date: 16 December 2011 (USA)
Directed By: Roman Polanski
Written By: Yasmina Reza, Roman Polanski
Starring: Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, John C. Reilly
In A Nutshell:
Based on the play "God Of Carnage" by Yasmina Reza where a playground argument between 11 year old boys results in one of them getting hit in the face with a stick by another. The parents of the "victim", Penelope (played by Jodie Foster) and Michael (played by John C. Riley) invites the parents of the "guilty party", Nancy (played by Kate Winslet) and Alan (played by Christoph Waltz) over to their apartment so they can settle their issues. What starts out as a cordial meeting turns into verbal dispute and everyone's true colors are slowly revealed.
Thumbs Up:
+ Great character study as everyone has plenty of depth to their personality
+ Wonderful dialogue
+ Stellar performance from all four actors (that's basically the entire cast)
+ Brilliant dynamic of interaction between the cast as they seamlessly change which side they are on
Thumbs Down:
- Lacking a climatic scene
- Minor negative here, but its hard to believe why Nancy and Alan stayed so long and delayed leaving. Heck, I'm not actually disturbed by it. Just needed something to list as "Thumbs Down". Apprehensive I know. ;P
The Verdict Is In:
As a story which is completely confined to a small space (Penelope and Michael's apartment in this case), a measure of how interesting the characters are, as well as the actors' ability to bring them to life is absolutely crucial. This film manages to succeed on both accounts as not only are the characters filled with richness but all four actors that are playing them delivers fantastic performances. But we might have well expected that as Foster, Winslet, and Waltz are all Oscar winners while Reilly is an Oscar nominee. How they interacted with one another and reacted to every scenario is priceless. An acting master class on display.

They dialogue and arguments are also a delight and it covers a wide variety of issues. But then again, 79 minutes of constant dialogue is obviously not everyone's cup of tea. Me? I'm certain to view this again in the future. And delightfully so too.
7 out of 10

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