Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

Carnage

What’s the worst thing that can happen when a group of civilized adults meet to discuss an incident on the playground between their children? This is the plot of the new Roman Polanski film Carnage. The film is based off of a French play that has been translated into English. It’s obvious from watching Carnage that it was written for the theater. With the exception of two brief scenes at the beginning and the end, the entire film takes place in an apartment. I know this is an ideal situation for a play, but I found it to be very interesting. What can happen between civilized individuals in a matter of hours within the confines of one room? This is one of the things that made 12 Angry Men so great.

The first scene of the movie is a long shot of the incident in the playground.  Although this scene may sound important, it’s really not.  The first scene of great importance is the next one where both set of parents are hovering over a computer screen in the apartment.  They are typing up an account of the incident to sign.  Everything goes smoothly with the exception of one minor disagreement. Was the child “armed with a stick” or “carrying a stick.”  The parents briefly quibble over the wording and then move on. That scene foreshadows the devastation and carnage that is to follow.

Carnage is an intelligent and witty comedy that causes us to examine our own lives. It is a movie about the facades we put on before others. What seem to be two reasonable and caring couples eventually turnout to be two highly dysfunctional families. The highlight of Carnage is the wonderful acting that brings these characters to life.  Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christopher Waltz, and John C. Reilly all hold their own throughout this story that does not have one lead, but four.

Carnage is not for everyone. It is an adult comedy with adult language. There is no action and it is character driven. The script is well-written and the dialogue is tremendous. Although Carnage, may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I found it to be a rewarding movie experience. I loved the acting within the confines of the apartment, and I went away entertained and motivated not to be the kind of parent or husband that was portrayed in the film.

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