Set in contemporary Brooklyn, New York, Carnage centers on two pairs of parents, one of whose child has hurt the other at a public park, who meet to discuss the matter in a civilized manner. However, as the evening goes on, the parents become increasingly childish, resulting in the evening devolving into chaos.
Set in contemporary Brooklyn, New York, Carnage centers on two pairs of parents, one of whose child has hurt the other at a public park, who meet to discuss the matter in a civilized manner. However, as the evening goes on, the parents become increasingly childish, resulting in the evening devolving into chaos. less
“Carnage is a dark comedy that engrosses you with its finely honed script, excellent enactments and the almost flawless direction. Go for it!”
It is often said that most human beings rarely grow up even if they grow older. In a society, people are often forced to adopt more mature facades in an attempt to conceal callow and petty character traits. Roman Polanskis talky yet engrossing black-comedy Carnage, based on a play God of Carnage by French playwright Yasmina Reza explores some of these themes during its short running length of 80 minutes.
As the movie opens and credits appear, you are treated to a disturbing scene of a kid being struck in the face by a stick during a brawl with another child. The scene is so impulsive that there is no foreboding of the attack and Polanski almost wants you to be amused by the horror of the act as much as be shocked. It is this tone that he employs through the rest of the film, which confines itself to the home of, Michael (John C. Reilly)& Penelope Longstreet (Jodie Foster), parents of the child whos struck. Visiting them to work out the situation as delicately and in a civilised manner are parents of the perpetrator, Alan (Christoph Waltz) & Nancy Cowan (Kate Winslet). With dividing social, economic and academic backgrounds and though processes the stage is set for confrontations which start off as friendly and civilized skirmishes, that soon turn into bloody ego-clashes which even leave ample room for friendly fire. The bickering only reveals the faults in the characters and their relationships that give rise to dirty laundry being washed in the open while the simmering situation involving the kids still unresolved. The question youd be asking in the end is, who are the real kids here?
Polanski smartly keeps the running length at a minimum and with nearly all the action taking place in the confines of a home amongst four people, he never lets your attention drop. The script is razor-sharp in observations and dialogues which carry wit, humour and intelligence in heaps. The gradual shift of loyalties and cracks in the relationships appear so naturally that you are taken in by the beauty of the writing.
For a movie with four major roles, the casting is impeccable. While all are excellent, the two who are the best in my opinion were Christoph Waltz and Jodie Foster. For a while after Inglorious Basterds I was afraid Waltz had been lost to Hollywoods stock bad-guy roles but his work here shows yet again how talented the man is.
Carnage isnt for everyone even at its short running length; but those who enjoy smart, intelligent and genuinely funny dark comedy will find a whole lot to appreciate here. This is one of the finest & funniest observations of human behaviour captured on screen in the past decade. Dont miss it.