Home > Movies > CARNAGE – Movie Review

CARNAGE – Movie Review

When a director like Roman Polanski takes on a new project, I’m immediately intrigued.  On top of that, when I hear of an all-star cast and an intriguing premise, I’m sold that this is going to be one of the best films of the year.  And while Carnage doesn’t quite meet that level, it’s still a very enjoyable film.

Carnage is based off of a stage play, titled God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza, and it centers around an incident between two kids, one striking the other with a stick, knocking two of his teeth out.  The whole film, then, follows the two kids’ sets of parents, one couple played by Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly, the other by Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz, “working out” this issue in the apartment of one of the two couples.  That’s right; the film takes place almost entirely in one location.  And I put “working out” in quotes on purpose, as the film uses this concept as a launching pad into conversations between the couples that gradually become more outlandish.

The biggest strength of Carnage is the four center performances.  Each actor completely embodies their character, each one contributing a different type of problem within a conversation, causing it to escalate into a heated argument.  The actors also deliver very strong, sharp dialogue, that at times is laugh-out-loud funny.

Polanski also directs these events in a very theatrical manner.  Each scene in the film plays out like a compelling stage play.  He uses the apartment to his advantage, completely dropping the viewer into this mess of a situation, as they watch it grow more and more insane.

The big flaw I have with Carnage, though, is that due to its premise and single location, the film limits itself, which definitely makes for good material in the film, but can also come off as slow and stale by the later points in the film.

While this isn’t the masterpiece I was hoping for, Carnage still benefits from some strong writing, directing, and acting, and succeeds even more from its extremely short runtime of 80 minutes.

FINAL RATING: 4/5

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  1. December 18, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Polanski’s tremendous skill with creating dramatic tension ensures that we’re in for a gripping as well as a very funny ride. It was also even better because of the leads here and just how they take these roles, and make them their own. Good review. Check out mine when you get the chance.

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