Eighty minutes of watching people argue

February 2nd, 2012 10:40 pm| by admin
facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

Although the name would imply otherwise, if you’re looking for a lot of action, you won’t find it here. But that doesn’t mean that this film is not vicious. Carnage is funny and entertaining, which is an impressive feat when one considers that the film basically consists of watching four people argue.

The situation that the characters find themselves is simple. There are two sets of parents and their sons have gotten into a fight. The parents are meeting to try to come to an understanding about the events that have transgressed. As uncomfortable truths come out, the day devolves into verbal carnage.

Even from the beginning of the film, we can feel the tension amongst the parents. Carnage succeeds in taking the traditional bickering couple and doubling it to create an intriguing dynamic. As the film progresses we see alliances build up, break down and switch, based on gender as well as other commonalities.

Carnage is a film that is very obviously based on a play. The whole film takes place in one apartment (and its hallway) and focuses on only four characters. It is extremely dialogue heavy. The restrictions of the medium of theatre are pretty much directly translated into the film.

For a script that focuses so heavily on dialogue, it is lucky that the dialogue is so well written and realistic. Although it does seem a tad unrealistic that this kind of interaction would ever develop this way.  Why the visiting couple never leaves out of politeness, yet acts so impolite, is a conundrum.

The talent necessary to pull off a film like this was definitely there. The acting was very good indeed, though the men seem to have been given more likeable and charming roles—especially Alan Cowan (Waltz). These are flawed people, but their motivations were entirely believable.

Unfortunately, there really is no character development.  There are certainly revelations and further depiction of who these people are, but this is not a situation where anybody appears to have learned a life lesson. If anything, these people leave the situation feeling more justified and grounded in their beliefs.

Carnage
Dir: Roman Polanski; comedy, 80 mins;

Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, John C. Reilly
Premiered Feb 2
Playing nationwide

One of the medieval coins found (photo: Viborg Museum)
Medieval coins found on Apple site in Jutland
Three members of the Midtjysk Detector Association have found 82 medieval c...
Møn is one of Denmark's few excellent star-gazing areas (photo: Dark Sky Møn)
Møn wants to be the darkest place in Denmark
The island of Møn south of Copenhagen is one of the few areas in Denmark w...
Organic fruits, veggies and meat make up 12 percent of the total Danish organic exports (photo: Pixabay)
Denmark’s food minister to open world’s largest fair for organic food
The Danish environment and food minister, Eva Kjer Hansen, will officially...
The business and growth minister, Troels Lund Poulsen, was pleased with the deal (photo: Business and Growth Ministry)
Danish government agrees to new growth deal
The government has teamed up with Dansk Folkeparti, Liberal Alliance and Ko...
Happier days: Yahya Hassan (left) and Nationalpartiet head Kashif Ahmad (photo: Nationalpartiet)
Yahya Hassan kicked out of political party after high speed chase
The controversial Danish poet Yahya Hassan has been kicked out of Nationalp...
Never have there been so few cars outside the Gentofte IKEA (photo: Henrik Johansen)
IKEA evacuated after bomb threat
The big IKEA warehouse in Gentofte just north of Copenhagen was evacuated b...