Have you seen the trailer for Carnage? It’s pretty great.
I rented it this weekend and was not disappointed. Based on the play, God of Carnage by Yazmina Reza, the film was pretty darn great. I make no apologies for being a fan of director Roman Polanski’s work. No, I’m not a fan of his personal life but the dude can direct. I would have loved to see the London production starring Ralph Fiennes, Tamsin Greig (fabulous in Matt LeBlanc’s show Episodes), Janet McTeer and Ken Stott. In fact as much as I liked the movie, I’m betting I would have loved the stage production.
The story is this: Two couples meet to discuss the recent event of one couple’s son hitting the other’s with a big stick. That’s basically it. There’s lots of humor, stress and aggression (plus most of the adjectives used in the trailer). The conversation switches between the boys, cobbler, and an abandoned hamster. There’s a constantly buzzing cell phone, beautiful tulips and vomit. It’s pretty great. Couple turns on couple, spouse against spouse and sex against sex. It’s terribly satisfying to see these folks attempt to get through one conversation.
As a viewer I found myself really involved in the story. At varying points in the film I wanted to slap each one of them. It's incredible how each character's worst quality comes out in the span of a very short time yet the film doesn't feel forced. The interplay between the four characters is incredible. I would think that actors would fight tooth and nail to be able to play these two couples. There’s tons of development in the span of the film (a short 80 minutes), which is almost impossible to do. It could have been mishandled and rushed but Polanski did it just right. Oh, also I need to give a shout-out to the film’s composer, Alexandre Desplat. I’m one of those weirdos that notices a movie’s score and Desplat hasn’t failed me yet. His music grabbed me in the opening sequence (the incident between the boys) and was stellar. Add to it Polanski's direction in keeping the camera far away while slowly moving in to the action and I was sold from the first minute.