Martin McDonagh’s last film was In Bruges – a spiky, acerbic, unpredictable black comedy/crime thriller. Seven Psychopaths is all those things and many more. The film follows a possibly alcoholic Marty Farahan (get it?) and his attempts to write a film called …Seven Psychopaths. He’s worried that the screenplay that’s supposed to be about “love and peace” will end in carnage. Characters say things like “This would be a great place for a final shootout.”
Yeah, it’s one of those films – like Adaptation with guns – but it doesn’t settle for just that. Part of the fun of watching Seven Psychopaths is trying to work out what kind of film it wants to be (and don’t expect it to give a straight answer). Most of the fun comes from the enlivening performances of the leads, particularly an erratic (and, perhaps, psychopathic) Billy Bickle, played by Sam Rockwell.
The film feels looser than most Hollywood films (in a good way). Everything that happens in the film matters, but generally not in the way that you’d expect. The emphasis is on being entertaining rather than meaningful, but it still finds unexpected moments of poignancy.
And the best bit? It features an incredibly cute dog.