“Seven Psychopaths” is like 3-Michelin-star meal: if you don’t know the complexity and talent that went into it, you won’t fully appreciate it but it doesn’t matter because bliss is bliss, and if you know something about the specifics, well then it’s all more the sublime.
Here we meet Colin Farrell’s Marty, a screenwriter struggling to find the creative groove for his screenplay, “Seven Psychopaths” (if you’re a “Frasier” fan, you’ll remember Frasier’s hilarious observation amid his foundering collaboration with Niles as to why so many writers end up as depressed alcoholic suicides).
Marty envisions a mass-marketable, carnage-laden, Old West-inspired crime story driven by the cross-purposes of, well, seven psychopaths. But he also wants it to be life-affirming, and ultimately about love (be sure to read that last phrase using an Irish accent).
Trouble is, he only has insight into the latter, and can’t come up with even one good psychopath.
Enter friend Billy (the supporting-role-award-deserving Sam Rockwell). Billy’s an unusual, enterprising, loyal fellow prospering in a going short-con concern with the equally unusual, enterprising, and loyal Hans (Christopher Walken, ‘nuff said). Their business model is morally reprehensible, but no lasting harm comes to anyone, so all’s well that ends well (…).
Billy’s also yang to Marty’s yin, feeding him wildly woven tales of vengeance and woe, and in short order Marty finds himself with two solid psychopaths and counting.
Writer/director Martin McDonagh (“In Bruges”) deserves every win for Best Original Screenplay for this darkest of dark comedies, and casting director Sarah Finn enjoys another feather in her increasingly vibrant cap. Colin Farrell and Sam Rockwell seem to do nothing as they do everything, and we get to revel in all sides of Christopher Walken in a single portrayal, from the warm-hearted silly to the inner torment the deeply menacing. Every element from scope to structure to dialogue to direction to performance to production is so finely executed as to be easily overlooked, but “Seven Psychopaths” is one of the finest pieces of work to come along in the past few years (think “Inception” without the sci-fi effects).
A warning to the sensitive: the exploits of our titular subjects are grim, even reaching the gruesome on several occasions, plus the requisite shoot ’em up activity. The endorphin rushes from the comedy carry one through such moments (which last but 1-2 minutes), but if you avoid the likes of “Kill Bill” or “Pulp Fiction”, you may want to wait for the DVD and then just fast forward. I implore you not to miss it altogether, however, or you’ll rob yourself of a superb experience (particularly if you’re an avid movie lover).
For my next beloved I’ve planned to create the ID tag like my friend B. does: [Name] ~ Please call my mom. ~ [Phone]. But I gotta say, I also rather like Woody Harrelson’s approach.:D And of course one must have that hat…
“Seven Psychopaths”. You’ll love all the layers, and won’t forget this story anytime soon.
Story: A creatively blocked screenwriter finds himself in the crossfire after his oddball friends kidnap a gangster’s beloved Shih Tzu.
Genre: Comedy, Crime
Starring: Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson, Tom Waits, Bonny, Abbie Cornish, Linda Bright Clay, Zeljko Ivanek, Olga Kurylenko (and a host of luscious cameos ~ including Michael Stuhlbarg looking for all the world like the love child of Joaquin Phoenix and Joe Pesci)
Directed by: Martin McDonagh
Running time: 109 minutes
Official site: http://www.sevenpsychopaths.com/
Houston release date: October 12, 2012
Tickets: Check Fandango or your local listings
Screened Oct 11th at the Edwards Marq*E in Houston TX