Country: France, Germany, Poland, Spain
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director: Roman Polanski
Music: Alexandre Desplat
Cinematography: Pawel Edelman
John C. Reilly
Size matters, right? even for Roman, after the brilliantly intricacy-crafted THE GHOST WRITER (2010), the scale of CARNAGE shrinks just like a hors d’oeuvre, no wonder its lukewarm feedback is percolating in spite of the lure of 4 Oscar-bounded leading thespians. Actually the response is par for the course, the film hinges on a more stringent time schedule (literally the exact time audience spends in front of the big screen), which is too featherweight to be considered seriously for the Oscar race (referring to other play-adapted Oscar dearest CLOSER 2004 or DOUBT 2008, both at least possess a decent time span), but which doesn’t thwart all the fun one could obtain from a feature film.
The disintegration of these two pairs of parents is intrigued bit by bit with derision, insult and disdain, the initial wrangle of two flatly unfamiliar couples are reflecting everyone’s customary procedure of dealing with strangers, the approach of eclipsing others in a restrained manner in order not to break a fragile bottom line “our face of respect”, and once Nancy (Kate Winslet’s character) has lost her face with a hilarious vomit to all the civil pretentiousness, the battle of matrimony, sex, social supremacy and civil wit is officially instigated, the carnage of verbal assaults prevails and within a compact 80 minutes, the dialogues are drolly sharp and incisive, wounds are acute without bleeding,
The grand cast is beyond any accomplishment, Jodie Foster manifests her excellent curb in melodrama in many years though is a shade over-the-top during the end and Kate Winslet never mislead her devotees albeit being self-conscious in sundry scenes, Christoph Waltz fiendishly holds his introvert nature all the time while being socially authentic; arguably the weakest line, john C. Reilly is in his comfort zone to liberate the venom under his goody-goody disguise.
One big plus is the film ends ideally when the fray starts to become stale, so Polanski is still as crafty as any filmmakers could ever wish for.