Parenting must be a tough gig made difficult by the fact that everyone has an opinion on the correct way to raise a child. The politics of parenting and a wide range of different social issues are covered in an entertaining and thought provoking way in ‘Carnage’.
A very simple premise – two pairs of parents meet to resolve an incident involving their sons and the mediation gets chaotic.
‘Carnage’ is based on the play ‘Le Dieu du Carnage’ written by French playwright Yasmina Reza that was successfully adapted to English for the Broadway production ‘God of Carnage’ after wowing audiences in Europe. ‘God of Carnage’ won several Tony Awards and was a huge hit with theatre goers during its run and a film adaption was inevitable.
The big screen version of ‘Carnage’ takes place in real-time and a few elements of a play creep through with a small cast and a fixed location. The material isn’t very cinematic and despite the run-time of 80 minutes you feel the time drag a little.
The strength in ‘Carnage’ is the incredible script that uses the interactions between the four leads to examine different topics that include modern parenting, marriage, men vs. women and much more. It’s amazing how much social commentary gets jammed into the events of the film and there are very interesting points to ponder. The characters shift from heroes to villains in a heartbeat, they gang up on each other and the peaceful mediation becomes very childish. It’s very clever and witty writing from Reza and director/writer Roman Polanski.
The leads deliver outstanding performances with Jodi Foster, John C. Reilley, Christoph Waltz and Kate Winslet in excellent form. Watching these four talented performers work off each other is a pleasure.
Parents and married couples, especially, will get a lot out of the biting commentary in ‘Carnage’. Not a cinematic triumph but a good way to flex the frontal lobe of your brain for a bit.
‘Carnage’ is now showing.
The Popcorn Junkie