A review of SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS by Abigail Stroman
Ah Hollywood, you narcissist. You self-centered show-off. But to give credit where credit is due, you have more to show off than your average town.
SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS is like watching a close-knit group of friends giggle their way through an in-joke centered story. Which is not to say that it isn’t entertaining. On the contrary, the script is witty, the acting superb, and the humour delightfully dark. But it is not short of in-jokes; this is a film made by cinéphile, for cinéphile. Following in a great tradition of film about film (though not as successfully as Singing in the Rain, or Adaptation) Seven Psychopaths takes us into a complicated stream of art imitating life imitating art imitating life. Marty (Colin Farrell) is attempting to write a screenplay based purely on the title ‘Seven Pyschopaths’, and is, understandably, having trouble. Enter Billy (Sam Rockwell) and Hans (Christopher Walken) who, with the best of intentions, ‘help’ Marty by getting him involved with real-life crazies and dragging him into the desert. At which point the reflection of the film-industry becomes increasingly circular. Even the exasperation you may feel at moments is echoed through Marty’s eye-rolling tolerance of his two companions’ seemingly never-ending edits to his film.
All this is, however, rather beguiling. Like a narcissist at a party, it is captivating, sucking you into its whirlwind craziness.