I checked out the new movie “Carnage” a couple of weeks ago at Midtown Arts Cinema, and I thought I’d post a little mini-review since the movie is based on a hit Broadway play. The show is also currently playing at the Alliance Theatre.
God of Carnage is a show that takes place in one room, a couple’s apartment, after their son is beaten up on the playground at school by another little boy. The offender’s parents come over to talk things out civilly, and what ends up resulting is, essentially “carnage.” When people defend their parenting skills, life choices, marriages, and careers–especially with alcohol accompanying the evening–observers get to see what savages we all really are.
The translation of God of Carnage to the big screen was a bit clunky, although true to the stage play. Basically having the action taking place within one room (carried over from the show) made for an awkward and slightly slow movie, but the acting was undeniably amazing. Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly, and Christopher Waltz all gave top-notch performances, which would have all been worthy of their own Tonys had they been live onstage. Winslet’s teary, drunken Nancy was a wreck of emotion throughout the second half of the movie, really gripping the audience with her clear, tortured pain while still bringing in a level of hilarity in her frequent, disgusting stress-vomiting.
Throughout the movie, there are prized possessions broken and stained, tears pouring, alcohol flowing, words being screamed, alliances being made and broken, and children being made illustrations of marriages gone wrong. All in all, this movie wasn’t really a movie so much as a live recording of the stage play, done in the style of a film. Having it recorded for many more audiences to see will allow thousands more people to experience the show than got to see it onstage, but those interested in a skillfully-made independent movie may wind up confused and bored. Worth a trip for theatre buffs, but cineophiles should perhaps wait for the next indie flick.