Sunday, December 9, 2012

Killing Them Softly (2012)

Written By Andrew Dominik
Directed by Andrew Dominik, George V. Higgins
Starring Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta, Scoot McNairy and Richard Jenkins

This is an amazing feature film about politics and gangsters. The subject of the film is a robbery of a card game. Simply put a bunch of gangster types love to play high stakes card in back rooms and small houses and they get robbed every so often. No one gets hurt but all the money gets stolen and the mobsters want revenge. Generally somebody has to die. Interestingly enough the film deals with this situation of revenge while paralleling the 2008 presidential election of Barrack Obama. It's more then confusing and at times insulting. 

The theme of the movie is hard to understand and quite jarring in the beginning of the film. The story opens on McNairy’s character walking out of a tunnel while splicing in fragments of a crowed cheering while Obama speaks in fragmented edits. The opening makes the audience uneasy and not sure about what statement is being made. Racism, sexism, and general hatred are all present in this film along side cold calculating procedure of criminals and mobster politics.

The cinematography is outstanding in its clean natural angles and stylistic action sequences. Brad Pitt plays a hitman who claims he doesn’t like kill people who know him because it gets messy. There are “too many feelings” Pitt’s character complains “I like to kill them softly from a distance”

The film wraps up well after a long struggle to figure out what’s going on and finally the story resolves. Interestingly at the very end of the film, Pitt’s character makes an incredibly bold and interesting statement about what America is. And it's as if the entire film was just a buffer to put in context what this real point of the movie is. In this way the movie is incredibly rich with meaning, prolific in its ability to entertain you and submit a Pearl of insight.

Top 5. This film is very well done and has a gift for the view in the end. It’s not terribly uplifting or warm but the film is trying to say something and that is all a audience member can ask for.

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