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Movie Review: Seven Psychopaths

By Edited Dec 10, 2015 1 2

Certificate 15, 110 minutes

Director: Martin McDonagh

Stars: Colin Farrell, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell

In Seven Psychopaths Collin Farrell (Fright Night, Total Recall, Dead Man Down) as Martin "Marty" Faranan is trying to write a screenplay. Unfortunately, he hasn't got any further than the title, which is "Seven Psychopaths." He is hindered by the fact that he is pretty much an alcoholic (it's said in the film that as he's both Irish and a writer, alcoholism is his fate) and that he also wants the film to be life affirming and non violent. This is a rather odd choice for something called Seven Psychopaths. Marty likes the title and doesn't want to change it to something else to make it easier to write something life affirming about.

Marty's best friend Billy (Sam Rockwell) kidnaps dogs and takes them back to their owners for the reward with the help of Hans (Christopher Walken). Billy kidnaps the wrong dog, that of mobster Charlie (Woody Harrelson). Charlie is violent and more than a little unbalanced (his part was originally going to be played by Mickey Rourke who dropped out of The Expendables 2 to do it, but he later disagreed with McDonagh and dropped out of this film too) who really, really loves his Shih Tzu, Bonny, and has difficulty coping with Bonny's kidnap, although he is more than willing to kill anyone even peripherally involved. Marty doesn't cope that well with his life suddenly getting violent.

Seven Psychopaths
The female characters in the film are quite weak, but this is more than likely deliberate as Hans points out the weaknesses of Marty's female characters in the screenplay. The weaknesses of the screenplay female characters are extremely similar to those weaknesses shown by similar characters in the film.

There is an overall feeling in Seven Psychopaths that the stories of the characters are also being written into Marty's screenplay too. Throughout the film Marty comes up with, or is given, more psychopaths until he comes up with the seven he needs. Billy and Hans try to help him, although Billy favours a more traditionally violent outcome to the screenplay than Marty's "life affirming" one.

Christopher Walken is great with his almost completely deadpan performance, especially in the confrontation with Charlie's henchman Paulo (Zeljko Ivanek) where he refuses to do what Paulo wants, even though Paulo has a gun and is pointing it at Walken's character Hans, which is something that Paulo finds very confusing.

There is a clip in the credits so be sure that you don't miss it. Billy has some great lines and seems more than a little nuts - as, indeed, do many other members of the cast. Much of Colin Farrell's performance is done by his eyebrows; watch out for them, they're a scene stealer, as they swoop and dive across his face. Seven Psychopaths is a great, if sometimes rather black, comedy about a writer's struggle to create a screenplay while suffering from the "help" his friends provide him as well as the situations he gets in.
Seven Psychopaths egdcltd 2013-07-04 3.5 0 5
Seven Psychopaths
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Dec 21, 2012 2:34pm
I totally agree that black comedy's are an interesting and fun genre. I tend to enjoy movies that try to mingle drama with comedy (reminds me of "Out of Sight" with Clooney and Lopez). Sometimes it does well, others it doesn't, but with the pedigree behind the actors in this film, I know I'll get around to seeing it.

Thumbs up!
Dec 22, 2012 1:50am
My favourite member of the cast is Christopher Walken, although I hadn't realised how many years it was since I last saw him in a film (Click).
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