Sunday, January 8, 2012

CARNAGE (2011)

Roman Polanski’s this latest offering is surprising deal for all of his fans. It is satirical, mockingly funny as comedy of manners and lacks many of his usual traits. It is an adaptation of successful drama penned by Yasmina Reza based on shared conversation between four characters from beginning to the end. Perhaps it’s the shortest full length film Polanski has ever made and shot on single set from start to finish. But what is special is that the film reminds me a brilliant film made by one of the most stimulant filmmaker. It was Luis Bunuel’s ‘The Exterminating Angel’ where one fine evening the invited guests of high society gathered at host’s party and than all of them are unable to leave the venue for reasons best known to surreal Master. The night, morning and days follow and gradually they start dropping their bourgeois sophisticated pretentious masks one by one showing us the irrational and animalistic behavior surmounting the unstoppable chaos.   

Polanski’s this part comic and satiric drama has two couples as lead and they meet to resolve their children’s quarrel. The meeting slowly degenerates into irrational silly arguments. The whole drama lies in a conversation of all four characters played by fine ensemble cast consists of Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christopher Waltz and John C. Reilly. It’s talkative from beginning to its very end and so some may find it a bore. But than the key part of the film is communication where subjective reactions and personal remarks leading what is agreeable to disagreeable making us think hard whether they’re decent people acting out of temper or superficially fair minded ones? And than what happens in that conversation room is miniaturization of whole human society, isn’t it?

Out of all four leading cast, I just loved performance of Kate Winslet and Chrisopher Waltz, the man is purely a catalyst in the whole drama with his interrupting cell phone conversation breaking the civilized façade  and pushing enough satirical humor with his lines and expressions. As Polanski fan, will consider this film quite an average show compared to most of his brilliant works. Hope he will come back with something as striking as some of them! We don’t want Polanski, Woody Allen and Clint Eastwood to retire but then neither do they!    


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