Aug 19, 2012

Carnage, 2011

Carnage, 2011
Director: Roman Polanski
Cast: Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, Christoph Waltz, John C. Reilly

Stage: Home theatre. Substitute for the movie under stars at Ljubljana Castle. And got a fairly good quality.

Carnage in short: In Brooklyn Bridge Park, eleven year old Zachary Cowan strikes his eleven year old classmate Ethan Longstreet across the face with a stick after an argument. Among the more serious of Ethan's injuries is a permanently missing tooth and the possibility of a second tooth also being lost. Their respective parents learn of the altercation through Ethan's parents questioning him about his injuries. The Longstreet parents invite the Cowan parents to their Brooklyn apartment to deal with the incident in a civilized manner. They are: Penelope Longstreet, whose idea it was to invite the Cowans, she whose priorities in life include human rights and justice; Michael Longstreet, who tries to be as accommodating as possible to retain civility in any situation; Nancy Cowan, a nervous and emotionally stressed woman; and Alan Cowan, who is married more to his work as evidenced by the attachment he has to his cell phone and taking work calls at the most inopportune times..

Preps: I need to see this. It's Polanski. And I heard it's brilliant. I am not in the mood to make it up to the castle for this one. Fortunately, I can get it in one hour and almost start watching at the same moment :)

Reality: The beginning is somehow calm. The two families, trying to come to an agreement. I could never expect such an explosion of emotions is coming. Polanski took the scenery very serious, placed it very statically - this means we never get to leave the room these four people are locked in.
This is the hardest thing to do. Make a static scene interesting. Yet Polanski succeeds. I am out of breath from the first moment on.
The calm aristocratic family (and the other one, similar to the first one), start of civilized and friendly. In a way you would start a business conversation. However, with the conversation proceeding, they turn into wild things, animals for sure. I cannot believe the way the couples are behaving first towards complete strangers, then towards each other. The way women take sides against men is simply excellent and leaves me with a fresh breath of pure irony. Plus, the men and their habits that reveal. The four persons show themselves in the worst possible way. Completely without any limit, prejudicial, filled with depression they didn't express prior to this unique opportunity. The room is the place, where vomit literally breaks loose, fighting for your own existence and if they first wanted to make an impression (in a fashion of Keeping up Appearances and "lady of the house speaking", Hyacinth) on each other, later this is no longer important.
The worrying part is the fact that at the end, noone remembers why they gathered in the first place. The dispute they had is no longer relevant, only the blame and anger they nurture against each other. A drama that turns into a horror, leaves me breathless and with a deep respect for Polanski. Worth every minute.

My personal rating: 9,0 (excellent. Plus, 80 minutes, that seem like five).

Carnage on IMDB

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