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'Seven Psychopaths'

A 2012 movie directed by Martin McDonagh

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A Dog, A Writer and The Stories of Seven Psychopaths

  • Mar 11, 2013
Written and directed by Martin McDonagh (who was responsible for the equally clever In Bruges), I’d like to think that “Seven Psychopaths” is something that had been cooked up by the writer/director as something McDonagh’s character Marty as “that is not the kind of movie I want to write anymore”. Well, I do have to say this film is different and yet familiar, it feels a little Quentin Tarantino-ish and yet it is not. The film feels fresh, gritty and there is a Coen brothers feels to it all. “Seven Psychopaths” is one film that I wished I saw in theaters in 2012, and although I may be a little late in reviewing it, I found that it is very much worth the time.

                          Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell in "Seven Psychopaths."

The film is an unlikely story of a man named Marty (Colin Farrell). Marty is a screenwriter and NOT an alcoholic (or so he says), he is desperately trying to find inspiration and how to wrap up his newest story called “Seven Psychopaths”. He has the title down but he is undecided as to how he would write everything out. His friend Billy (Sam Rockwell) is sort of helping some, as Marty is slowly making some progress with the characters. Billy is quite a talker and he is also a dog-napper who works with Hans (Christopher Walken). The two are making quite a racket until they dognap a Shih Tzu named Connie owned by a gangster named Charlie (Woody Harrelson) who has a penchant for violence and this obsession with his dog gives him more of an itchy trigger finger. Charlie is hot on the trail of his dog, so Billy and Hans get out of dodge along with Marty so they could figure out what to do next. This would also give them enough time to maybe finish Marty’s screenplay.

                     A scene from "Seven Psychopaths."

                    Woody Harrelson and Christopher Walken in "Seven Psychopaths."

So there you go, the core screenplay of “Seven Psychopaths” is pretty simple but what makes it fresh and different is the manner it is structured. It is sort of a movie within a movie, totally self-aware of what it wants to do, but it delivers things with a straight face. The characters of the film is truly its strongest point and the way the dialogue just makes something out of nothing, it all feels natural and very sharp. The screenplay does a remarkable job in drawing fiction from reality, and how reality can create fiction. There is something that just clicks in “Seven Psychopaths”, it is the kind of film that has a little of this so called “philosophical mumbo-jumbo” that makes sense albeit it is a little outrageous in the way it pulls off the “movie inside a movie“. It is ridiculous but it is clever and original in the way it takes everything in so many directions. It is hilarious and yet it delivers everything with a straight face.

What I liked about the screenplay is its copious amount of interesting characters. Blending real life with the makings of fiction was brilliantly handled. Of course it worked because of its superb cast. The opening act reveals two goons waiting to off a woman who instead gets their heads blown off by psychopath # 1. Farrell plays the alcoholic writer who has some issues with his girlfriend, Kaya (Abbie Cornish). By himself, he isn’t very interesting but with his exchanges with Sam Rockwell, he becomes quite the compelling core character to all of this nonsense. Add in lines about Gandhi, Marty saying “No shoot outs” and the way Hans goes “No” and “I don’t care” when asked to get his hands up at gunpoint, there is a certain clever, sarcastic wit all around the script.



The “inside” the movie kind of thing also goes quite interesting as characters such as the Quaker, Zachariah Rigby (the great Tom Waits), the Vietnamese Priest (Long Nguyen) with a hooker (Christine Marzano), Jack O’Diamonds among others get introduced as fiction and at the same time reality. The stories behind these characters add layers and needed depth to what the film is trying to say. Marty says he wants his product to be life-affirming, and perhaps this was the way he sees such things. The film also delivers certain surprises and even leaves some things for the viewer to ponder. Hey, any movie with human-Viagra pill Olga Kurylenko who makes a significant limited appearance without being seen as mere eye candy is indeed smart without being too obvious. To give the movie some visceral punch, it also has some mild blood and gore to express its violence. The practical effects were competently done that it does not wallow on its display.


“Seven Psychopaths” is everything and anything, but most of all it is a very fun film. It is creative, smart and gives off the needed feeling of novelty that we need to see every now and then. It does a great job mixing in philosophical nonsense, action, sharp wit and dialogue in some very unorthodox and efficient ways. Its structure and style certainly complement the performances and everyone seemed to be having fun in making the film. Martin McDonagh has created a winner.

Highly Recommended! [4 Out of 5 Stars]


A Dog, A Writer and Seven Tales of Seven Psychopaths

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March 21, 2013
I have this but have yet to watch it, but I will be getting to it this weekend.
March 24, 2013
let me know what you think of it.
More Seven Psychopaths reviews
review by . October 22, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         That Seven Psychopaths is twisted, there can be no question. As to whether or not it’s successful, that’s open for debate. Here is a movie that’s narratively and atmospherically all over the map; in one fell swoop we’re given a crime thriller and a comedy, and in both instances, they involve a stolen dog, a developing screenplay, promises for screen credit, alcoholism, people getting shot and burned alive, two generations …
review by . October 22, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Living and dying for the sake of Shih Tsu
Martin McDonagh, among the best known Irish directors previously won an Oscar for the short movie Six shooter A Collection of 2005 Academy Award Nominated Short Films although he is perhaps best known for the acclaimed In Brugesalso starring Colin Farrell, a dark comedy with tragic overtones about two hitmen on the run.      I first heard of this movie last year when I saw the movie The Guard directed by his brother Michael John. A trademark of the McDonaghs is dark humor mixed …
review by . October 08, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
'Seven Psychopaths', a Shih Tzu, & a writer with writer's block equal a brilliant, twisted,comedy
          What does one little Shih Tzu named BONNY, Seven Psychopaths and one screenwriter suffering from writer's block have in common?      Everything...At least in my favorite film of 2012 so far...         Screenwriter, Marty Faranan (Colin Farrel) is way past his deadline on his latest screenplay. If that's not enough to cause the poor dude major stress, his passive-aggressive girlfriend, Kaya …
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Please "Like" Film and Movies and Keep the Economy strong....LOL!!      My Interests: Movies, Anime, History, Martial Arts, Comics, Entertainment,Cooking, Things I don't … more
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Movies, Comedy, Romance, Dark Comedy, Violence, Movie Review, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson, Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Playwright, Abbie Cornish, Dognappers, Martin Mcdounaugh, Seven Psychopaths


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