I love it when a film doesn’t take itself too seriously, especially when it’s dealing with ‘dark’ subject matter. I actually checked my brain into a local Premier Inn when I put on Seven Psychopaths (directed by In Bruges‘ Martin McDonah), but halfway through the film I’d laughed myself into submission and felt the need to engage my grey matter because it was getting…quite clever.
Marty (Colin Farrell), a struggling screenwriter, inadvertently finds himself at the centre of a battle between a group of psychopaths; some of whom are his weird friends (Rockwell & Walken) and some who are the local gangsters (Harrelson & Ivanek). As the events unfold, he finds his own life becoming the inspiration for his latest story.
To say this film is postmodern may be the understatement of the year. The characters literally write the film as it progresses, and it’s unbelievably self-referential. One of the problems with the movie is that it has no strong female characters, which is something Rockwell states, saying any that get established will ultimately die at the end because Farrell (read: the director McDonagh) cannot write a 3-dimensional, realistic woman. His own writing downfalls become a running joke at many other self-references throughout the narrative.
Farrell plays his character well, but sometimes it is quite hard to accept he is a writer. The rest of the cast of psychopaths are fantastic, especially Sam Rockwell, who gives one of the funniest, most endearing performances of his career. He’s established himself as a great actor, so this does not come as a surprise! The script is electric at times and all of the actors understand the silliness and play it up, which adds to the humour.
Regardless of it’s self-understanding of writing inadequacies, Seven Psychopaths film has some brilliant set pieces, gory action and rib-tickling one liners, and is sure to put a smile on your face. It’s not as groundbreaking as In Bruges, but Martin McDonagh knows action, as well as comedy, and I’m definitely looking forward to his next movie.