Sunday, 22 January 2012

Carnage, dir. Roman Polanski, scr. Roman Polanski, Yasmina Reza, based on 'God Of Carnage' by Yasmina Reza, st. Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, John C. Reilly

Remaining faithful to the source material's theatrical roots, Polanski forgoes widening the arena as in the case of so many dramatic adaptations, and instead shoots Resa's acidic text 12 Angry Men-style in a single claustrophobic room. Two couples, Penelope and Michael (Foster and Reilly) and Nancy And Alan (Winslet and Waltz) meet up to discuss their children's playground spat, Penelope and Michael's flat soon becoming a battlefield for the most bitter verbal sparring since Martha, George, Nick and Honey's inebriated offensive offensives. When one pair of the sniping foursome do make an attempt at a getaway, they're lured back into the apartment, unable to censor themselves. At one point, tall sash windows are opened - for a short while, promising what? Fresh air, an escape? - before being hastily shut. There's the thick stench of bile in the air, and it's not all lingering from Nancy's projectile vomit. The four are generally wonderful, Foster particularly so, her jugular pulsating with anger and indignation, and Waltz gets to eat some more apple dessert, cobbler this time instead of strudel (see Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds). ThematicallyReza's play may not run as deep as Albee's, but Polanski succeeds in illustrating our human (adult or child) capacity for denial, dishonesty and miscommunication.