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Seven Psychopaths (2012)

Hilarity!

Writer and director Martin McDonagh follows up his schizophrenic work of genius ‘In Bruges’ (2008) with an ensemble movie in the same style. ‘Seven Psychopaths’ too has the characteristic clever, snappy and frequently nonsensical script and the unpredictable, outrageous characters as his debut film, only on an even bigger scale: everyone single character here is batshit crazy. They all also happen to be equipped with deadly weapons. Inevitably, havoc ensues. The plot is in the style of Snatch’ (2000) or ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’ (2005), with multiple storylines, which are all – more or less – tied together at the end. I will need a rewatch to piece all the details together.

The acting performances are what you’d expect of an ensemble of this calibre: flawless. I love seeing Colin Farrell back with McDonagh, as this kind of movie is where he gets to demonstrate that he really does have talent (note that his performance in ‘In Bruges’ won him a Golden Globe). Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken and Woody Harrelson all do what they do best, and they’ve all got it down to a tee.

This multi-layered, gun-slinging psycho fest could easily turn into a big mess, but McDonagh has a firm enough grip on things that it doesn’t loose its way entirely, even if it isn’t rounded off quite as neatly as I’d have liked. It is an ambitious movie which falls a little short of being as brilliant as I would have loved to see it, but which was a blast to watch.

7/10.

21-25. Nov: Oslo Film Festival 2012