I was actually kind of surprised by how much I enjoyed Seven Psychopaths. It’s another example of a film in which I ended up not hating Colin Farrell, and I thought those sorts of films were few and far between for me, but more and more of them seem to be appearing. Maybe I just had a terrible, terrible experience with Alexander.
In terms of the film’s premise, it’s really quite clever. Colin Farrell plays Marty, an alcoholic writer who is desperately trying to finish his screenplay ‘Seven Pyschopaths’, but hasn’t got beyond writing the title. His best friend Billy (Sam Rockwell) tries to inspire Marty with stories about recent psychopathic killings, and he even places an advert in the paper for psychopaths to come to Marty’s house and share their life stories. When he’s not trying to help Marty write his screenplay, Billy kidnaps dogs and sends his friend Hans (Christopher Walken) to collect the ransom money. However one of his kidnapped victims, a Shi Tzu called Bonny, actually belongs to a psychopath (played by Woody Harrelson), which eventually leads to an overly dramatic shoot out. At the end of the film it’s revealed that all of the events have been engineered by Billy in an attempt to inspire Marty to finish his screenplay, and that the finished product is the very film itself.
Despite being on the violent side, it was actually a really fun film with lots of dark humour. I especially enjoyed the dryness of Christopher Walken’s character Hans, and Colin Farrell was also really enjoyable to watch. I appreciated all of the little twists in the film, although everyone else seemed to have picked up on them way before I did, so it’s more than likely that I was fairly slow on the uptake and the reveals weren’t quite as interesting to my friends who had worked them all out half an hour before. What I especially liked was the fact that it was a self-aware film within a film though. As Hans says in the trailer, “I like it. It’s got layers.” I loved the layers, and I thought the whole premise of the film was such a great idea that I actually came away from it feeling really disappointed, because now that story’s been done and that brilliant idea has been used already, which means I can’t use it. I’ve no idea how people manage to come up with story lines like that, but I was very intrigued by it and by the levels of detail and forethought it would require. I thought it was an impressive and fun idea, turned into a well-executed and entertaining film (and one in which I didn’t end up hating Colin Farrell, which is kind of impressive in itself!)