Film Review: Seven Psychopaths

Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths is a lot of fun. The fantastic script and stellar cast make it a most enjoyable watch.

Screenwriter Martin is struggling to write his next script. His friend Billy offers to help, pitching him a story about a psychopath. Trouble ensues when Martin gets tangled up in Billy’s dog-napping sideline…

Seven Psychopaths is almost a film within a film. The script writing is a great device as it allows for plenty of humorous asides about filmmaking. The film flits between scenes of Martin’s film and the actual happenings in Martin’s life. This is executed in a natural manner, with neither reality appearing as usurping the other.

The film itself boasts a great screenplay. It is populated by interesting characters. McDonagh, who wrote and directed, both subverts and promotes stereotypical characters. The different stories in Seven Psychopaths entwine successfully. There is a good balance between dialogue-heavy scenes and those ripe with violence. The script is great, with numerous amusing lines.

The art direction and cinematography makes the most of the settings. Los Angeles has a polished look; there is a real light and vibrancy to the images of the city. The choice of music used in Seven Psychopaths is great as it excels in generating mood.

Seven Psychopaths offers great performances from its high profile cast. Sam Rockwell steals the show as oddball Billy. Christopher Walken is also great as Hans, while Colin Farrell is an appropriate straight man to the cast of colourful characters.

Seven Psychopaths is a most suitable follow up to McDonagh’s In Bruges. The film should satisfy its audience.

Seven Psychopaths is being screened at the London Film Festival in October 2012.