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On Seven Psychopaths

October 17, 2012

I would be remiss if I didn’t revive the old personal blog for another go round to talk about my newly minted favorite film ever, Seven Psychopaths.

Unfortunately, Seven Psychopaths is an incredibly difficult film to talk about with spoiling the central conceit of it. Even now I’m spoiling something: there’s a twist. Not a Shyamalanian twist: an actually good twist. A twist to your understanding of the film.

Well, okay, let’s try to talk about it without addressing the elephant in the room. Here’s the trailer:

Amazingly, that covers none of the best moments in the film. Well, okay, it has part of one of them, and the “Put your hands up!” ‘No!’ “But I have a gun!” ‘I don’t care.’ sequence is brilliant, but yeah.

Seven Psychopaths is a heist movie: it’s not just a heist movie, it’s about heist movies. (Treading carefully.) More importantly, it’s a story about a heist movie where everyone involved is a psychopath; I don’t mean slightly insane, either. I mean there’s movies worth of horrific narratives shoved into every single character.

Except Colin Farrell. Except Colin Farrell is exclusively a drunk, insane Irish dude, so it kind of works out.

The movie Seven Psychopaths most reminds me of is Black Dynamite. They’re pretty alike on the surface: both are pretty much live action cartoons. Television wonder Archer, too: Seven Psychopaths has a marvelously weird setting, incredibly odd characters who feel perfectly in place but are definitely out, and that sort of anarchistic approach to storytelling. Then again, they aren’t alike at all. Black Dynamite and Archer are sendups of a genre. Seven Psychopaths isn’t.

Seven Psychopaths is pretty much my favorite film ever, at least on first watch. I don’t know if it’ll hold up to two, three, ten repeated viewings. I cannot vouch for that a day after I saw it. But I can say, with confidence, that I’ve never quite liked a movie after a first watch as much as I have with Seven Psychopaths.

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