Carnage (2011)

carnageTwo pairs of parents hold a cordial meeting after their sons are involved in a fight, though as their time together progresses, increasingly childish behavior throws the evening into chaos.

Some think the setting of Roman Polanski’s black comedy, Carnage, works better on stage than in cinema. I feel otherwise because the reverse is true—it is easier to adapt stage-plays (to movies) than screenplays (to stage) because not all cinematic effects are replicable in theater.

This film is a thoroughly enjoyable adaptation of Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage. Only tiny flaw is; less civility and more sting in the second and third acts would’ve made it even better, but who’s complaining? The cast is likable and the director is a critically admired auteur.

I really enjoyed watching Christoph Waltz’s performance in particular. He played the role of a cynical devil’s advocate exquisitely. Jodie Foster on the hand, had a difficult role—Penelope Longstreet’s character and dialogue are designed with theater in mind. On screen, she comes away exaggerated and a tad contrived. There are moments in the second and third acts when she comes fairly close to losing control, but pull back in time. That said, casting someone else would’ve thrown the movie. Jodie Foster is very skilled and she has all the right moves.

This film is a lively crescendo, that culminates in a satisfying ending. Highly entertaining, full of giggles and plenty of re-watch value. Charming.

★★★★

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