ann hale gets a little cray…
Seven Psychopaths is a film about a guy writing a film about seven psychopaths while he unsuspectingly lives a life surrounded by psychopaths.
Marty (Colin Farrell) is an Irish, alcoholic screenwriter, writing a screenplay called Seven Psychopaths. His friend Billy (Sam Rockwell) and Billy’s friend Hans (Christopher Walken) are dog thieves who return peoples dogs after the owners post wanted posters with rewards.
Hans’ wife is in the hospital with cancer and he uses the reward money to pay for her treatments. Billy kidnaps a Shih Tzu from a girl at the La Brea Tar Pits, which turns out to actually be the dog of a big time gangster. The gangster, Charlie (Woody Harrelson), is seeking out Billy and Hans in order to kill them before he believes they will kill his dog.
Marty is having a hard time coming up with his seven characters. He doesn’t want his movie to be a bloodbath, but instead wants it to almost be a peaceful type of movie with a calm ending. Billy, on the other hand, wants the film to end in a giant shootout; all violence and explosions. Since Marty is unable to think up his own characters, he turns to Billy and Hans for help with ideas for his psychopaths. Here is what they come up with:
Psychopath No. 1 is called the Jack of Diamonds after his calling card of the same name. He only kills mid to high ranking mafia members.
Psychopath No. 2 is a Quaker who stalks a murderer for years in order to get revenge for the murder of his daughter.
Psychopath No. 3 is a Gangster who will kill anyone and everyone in his path to get his dog back.
Psychopath No. 4 is a Vietnamese man who is seeking revenge for the murders of his wife and daughters back in the Vietnam War.
Psychopaths No. 5 and 6 are Serial Killer Killers.
Psychopath No. 7 is a surprise.
Basically, all but one of the psychopath characters are based on real people. Marty unknowingly has surrounded himself with more than one and has become indirectly involved in a situation with another. His screenplay is writing itself based on the real life occurrences they are currently experiencing.
Normally, I don’t like Colin Farrell. I, personally, think that he isn’t meant to be an action star and I find myself disappointed in his films more times than not. His role in Seven Psychopaths, however, is perfect for him. He is funny, likable and his humanity is relatable.
Sam Rockwell is hysterical. He is that one friend everyone has that is kind of a screw up, but you keep them around because they make you laugh and you can always count on them. His character is increasingly twisted but is a good guy beneath it all.
Woody Harrelson’s gangster character is funny because he is not only disturbingly murderous, but he is so obsessed with his Shih Tzu, a male named Bonnie and an incredibly gay dog for a manly guy like him to have, that he kills everyone that gets in his way at all in the process of retrieving his dog.
Christopher Walken was my favorite part in the entire film. He plays his typical sweet and funny role but he also has a strange dark side to him. He is the intelligence and innocence of the group but is also very brave and challenging. He consistently surprises you.
Seven Psychopaths is an original idea and breath of fresh air. Almost Tarantino-like in its delivery, the story unfolds very gradually and just in time for you to understand it. Information is only given to you when you need it so that you are consistently surprised, able to process the several stories being told to you and how they all connect.
I see this film being an instant hit and one of those films that will make you question your friendship with someone when they say they didn’t like it. I strongly urge you to see it in the theater as it won’t have the same effect seeing it for the first time at home. Spend the money, folks. You won’t regret it.
All Photos Credit: CBS Films