Saturday, 25 October 2008

Burn After Reading Review

Reasons to be cheerful, 1,2,3. Number one its beginning to look like our American cousins aren't such a bunch of inbred fuckwit, um... cousins, as they may be on their way to putting someone in charge who doesn't believe in the four horsemen of the Apocolypse, who can string a sentence together and who has great taste in TV shows. Reason to be cheerful number 2 is that the Coen brothers have released another film, thats two this year! Hooray says me. That means 0.81% of the films I've watched this year have been made by Joel and Ethan. As for number 3? Nope, that's all I got.

So Coen time again. Osbourne 'Ozzy' Cox (John Malkovich) quits his CIA posting after being demoted. Angry and seeking revenge he decides to write some scathing memoirs. His wife Katie (Tilda Swinton), who is fucking Harry Pfarrer (George Clooney), puts these memoirs on a floppy disk while trying to obtain his financial statements because she wants a divorce. This disk is then left on the floor of Hardbodies gym, where Chad Feldheimer (Brad Pitt) and Linda Litzke (Frances McDormand) find it and then subsequently blackmail Ozzy. When Ozzy doesn't play ball, Linda and Chad go to 'The Russians' to try and sell the information.

Add into this equation some plastic surgery, a dildo chair machine and an improper use for a hatchet and you should be scratching your head in no time. But having seen the film it actually all makes sense. In a way. Not that you'd know that when watching the film because its as confusing as simultaneously trying to solve a Rubik's cube and a Suduko after two bottles of Jack Daniels and a lungful of salvea. This confusion will either infuriate you or make you grin from ear to ear. I was the latter because I'm all clever and smug and shit. But this confusion is also the point of the film. Unintelligent Intelligence.

As with every single Coen Brothers film its the characters that make it the joy that it is. The wonderfully titled Harry Pfarrer is played with the right mix of sleaze and idiocy by Mr. Clooney (supposedly rounding off his 'Idiot Trilogy' but on the basis of this I hope not). McDormand, Malkovich and Swinton are all as good as they always are which seems like a backhanded complement but its not. The real star though, is Mr. Brad Pitt, putting in a performance of such life-affirming, naive nincumpoopyness that if the word nincumpoopyness was ever put in the dictionary it would have his face next to it. Although dictionaries don't have pictures.

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