Carnage (Roman Polanski, 2011): France / Germany / Poland

Reviewed by Pamela Carvalho. Viewed at AFI Fest 2011

Carnage is a very thoughtful and profound film which deals with the conflict of two families, two pairs of young parents who have clashed over the question of their sons’ fight. One of the problems they touch upon during the whole film is their argument over the bringing-up of their children and who does it in the right way.

There is no intrigue, suspense or exciting plot in the film concerned and the outcome leaves mixed uncertain feelings. We might also think that the name of the movie is not reasonable because of the absence of bloodshed that was supposed to be in the movie with such a title. But those who dislike Carnage for all these things would be wrong as Carnage was not made for all those aspects above. Right on the contrary, it is very complicated, its main purpose is to show the relationships between the protagonists which are based on misunderstanding and on the lack of desire to try to hear opponent’s point of view. So Carnage makes us think a lot about the way we argue sometimes.

Talking about genres, I would certainly say it is a psychological movie with the components of comedy because there are several moments in it which could make the viewer laugh at the actions of main characters.

The movie is very realistic. It is based on the performance of actors and actresses whose famous names explode viewer’s doubts. Such great people as Jodie Foster (The Silence of the Lambs), Kate Winslet (Titanic), Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds), John C. Reilly (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape) have done their best in the film. It goes without saying that their performance is really amazing and these people cannot act badly at all! Every character stands out in their own way what makes Carnage an unusual film.

To my mind, the most thoughtful and serious films are those which are based on the ordinary and everyday plot with ordinary people whose urgent problems are similar to ours.

To draw a conclusion, I would strongly recommend you to watch Carnage because it is worth it.

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