The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Psychopaths film so good it’s crazy

By Joshua Knopp/special assignments editor

Seven Psychopaths isn’t the comedy previews indicated, and it isn’t going to make a lot of money. But 10 years from now, it will be hailed as a classic.

Billy (Sam Rockwell) lounges with Bonny, the beloved, stolen shih tzu of Charlie (Woody Harrelson). This starts a gang war.
Photo courtesy Blueprint Pictures

The film focuses on Marty (Colin Farrell), an alcoholic writing a screenplay titled, obviously, Seven Psychopaths. Marty is having difficulty with his script because he wants it to be about psychopaths but doesn’t want it to be too terribly violent. His deadbeat friend, Billy (Sam Rockwell, in what should be a star-making role), and Billy’s friend, Hans (Christopher Walken), make money by kidnapping dogs in high-end neighborhoods and returning them when reward money is posted.

Complications arise when they kidnap Charlie’s shih tzu. Charlie (Woody Harrelson) is a mob boss and a crazy person who loves his dog more than anything. Marty, who gets caught up in Charlie’s maniacal search for his dog, flees to the desert with Billy and Hans to finish his script.

The source of all the film’s nuanced pieces of brilliance is the fact that Marty’s script that the characters discuss is the same script that the characters are acting out. Basically, Seven Psychopaths is a story about a story that, in all actuality, is the story the story is about.

This infinite loop of self-reference allows the movie to toy with its plot’s depth and weave together intricate stories within an intricate story. The film at once lampoons itself (through Billy), affirms itself (through Hans) and looks at itself neutrally (through Marty) using clever, multi-layered dialogue and fantasy and flashback sequences so evocative they each deserve awards by themselves.

There isn’t enough that can be said about writer/director Martin McDonaugh. His second full-length film after the critically acclaimed In Bruges, McDonaugh has yet to do wrong by Hollywood. Hopefully in another few years, he can break through financially as well as critically.

A comedy, satire, action, splatter-gore and romance story all at once, Seven Psychopaths is worth seeing two or three times, let alone once.

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