Welcome to The Daily Cup a movie blog/writing project by Kyle B. Dekker, presented by Hot Chocolate Media. You can read series concept here. The basic rules, Kyle must watch 365 movies in 2018 and write about all of them. 292 of them have to be movies he's never seen before. Thanks for reading.
Meta movies that explore a new narrative structure can often be very fun or at least entrancingly strange. Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths (2012) is a peculiar crime drama that is often funny and always violent. Colin Farrell plays Marty a screenwriter struggling to finish his latest screenplay called Seven Psychopaths. While working on it he is drug into the Los Angeles underworld by his quirky friend Billy (Sam Rockwell) and Billy’s grifter partner Hans (Christopher Walken).
The central plot has mobster Charlie (Woody Harrelson) looking for his missing Shih Tzu which has been taken by Billy and Hans. Throughout the story parts of Marty’s script are worked on and are woven into the story. The movie has a straightforward plot (man wants dog, is looking for dog) that seems to meander as it is interrupted by vignettes of scenes Marty is writing. These vignettes are later tied into the story in an almost fourth wall breaking manner that ties everything together.
The performances of the cast were very strong. Sam Rockwell continues to display that he is one of the greatest actors of our age, and I always love seeing him play screwball characters like Billy. Christopher Walken gives one of the most subdued performances I’ve seen of him in a long time. It’s a subtle (for Walken) and caring performance and you really care about Hans as the film progresses. Farrell and Harrelson compliment these two fantastic performances with quality work of their own. Also Tom Waits is in this film and is awesome.I don’t want to say anything about him because known as little as possible about this film going in is going to increase your enjoyment of it.
One thing that stood out in the film to me was the female characters say very little and when they do violence soon follows, often towards them. I felt this was a little too macho and typically of a crime drama. This very point in a very meta scene later is brought up by Billy and Hans. Which makes me think McDonagh (who also wrote the film) was making a commentary about the violence and marginalization of women in crime films, by committing the same cinema crimes in his film. By doing this he is trying to put a spotlight on this problematic element of women in crime films. I don’t think this fully works, as he still commits these types of narrative crime, he just takes a moment to tell you that they are bad. But he never actually give s the women in the film much to do, and violence does happen to them, Maybe that was the point, McDonagh wanted to put crime films on blast for that and make people aware of it and stop tolerating it in crime films.
This is a strange, yet enjoyable film with some really awesome and brutally violent sequences that tries to expose crime cinema for its often rampant misogyny, yet it never offers any solutions to that issue and commits the same cinema crimes it is calling out. The film mostly worked for me, and when I have time it is worth a second viewing.
Movies new to me watched: 8/292
Total movies watched: 8/365
Have your own thoughts or opinions on this movie? Comment below or contact Kyle at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @kbdekker.