Carnage [DVD]

Disclaimer: I have never watched the play.

The first thing that greet the audience is Alexandre Desplat's wonderful score, and if you listen carefully it and watch as what unfolds on screen silently, it does kind of sets the mood for the rest of the show. Firstly, this whole movie is directed brilliantly by Polanski and it looks and feels like I am watching a play, rather  than a movie. The excellent cast is of course the other reason that makes this dialogue driven drama so compelling. Looking at these 4 adults devolve from civilised adults to child-like pettiness is riveting. Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet are both amazing! John C Riley was a late bloomer in this show but so much better to underlie his character. Christophe Waltz's character surprisingly was the one that stayed the truest throughout so Waltz was slightly more underplayed. Because it was directed like a play, a lot of elements that Polanski. used was more subtle. He played with camera angles, the characters posture (from straight and stiff in the beginning to slack and lazy in the end) and long takes. But the real champion here is the words, the script by Yamina Reza. It explored so many issues from gender roles and stereotypes, morality and impulses, personal values vs community, local vs foreign idealogies, misogyny and bigotry. And the tension in that house simply mounts with every interspersed dark comedy and interrupted conversation. None of these four individuals are likable but none of them are downright despicable because they all speak a certain amount of truth. The characters' dynamics are also very interesting with emotions and alliances ding-donging and shifting constantly, from couples vs couples, to husbands vs wives, men vs women, people who are who they are vs people who pretend to be who they are. Everybody did an excellent job here! But I can see that this may not be acceptable entertainment for a lot of people. Should go watch the play one day


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