Guest post: Martin McDonagh and Seven Psychopaths

By: Doug Glaston

Irish playwright Martin McDonagh is the kind of guy that looks to have gotten quite a bit of respect in his native country, where he is described as one of the most important ambassadors of the craft. His plays have received quite a bit of exposure on Broadway as well, though I am not quite as familiar with them as I am with his films.

It wasn't really until 2005 that McDonagh had gotten attention in the world of cinema for his Oscar-winning short film Six Shooter with Brendan Gleeson. If you haven't seen it, well, what else should I say? See it. Please. It's less than thirty minutes.

McDonagh then really turned some heads in 2008 with his incredible film (certainly my favorite of 2008, In Bruges). This was McDonagh's first feature film, and it also starred Gleeson alongside Colin Farrell.

The story focuses on two hit men hiding out in the stunning Belgian city of Bruges after Farrell's character makes a colossal mistake after his first hit. The trailers of the film make it look like a rowdy ol' “shoot em' up” with Tarantinoesque dialogue, which yeah, it kind of does.

But In Bruges explores one man coming to terms with his unintentional fallout – not even being good at being something evil – killing people for money, and for no other reason. The movie also features a filmset that stars a smart-ass, animal tranquilizer-ridden dwarf (Jordan Prentice) and other characters dressing up for a “Euro-trash” film. The costumes that they wear point to some painfully transparent spiritual symbolism that reflects on the demons of Farrell's suicidal character.

When you take into account McDonagh's first two films, there's one thing that he really likes (but might hate) – violence. Except for some scenes in In Bruges, he takes away any emotional contingent to feel with his characters, since none of them seem to even really care about their own weapons. The bullet kills others, not them. That's just the way it is, ya know?

Now we'll all have a chance to see McDonagh go at it again at the end of the year with the release of Seven Psychopaths. The film has already been released in Canada - Toronto at least – and will be out in American theaters on October 12.

Reading into the plot took several attempts to get my head around it. Colin Farrell plays a writer who wants to finish a script or screenplay called Seven Psychopaths.

Apparently finishing the beast of a script has proven difficult for the character, and with the help of his buddies (who will be played by Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken), the two go on a dog kidnapping campaign with a psychotic mobster who will be played by Woody Harrelson. Do I really have to try and make this sound any better?

I can actually, considering the fact that Tom Waits (who only appears with a little bunny in the trailer), and Olga Kurylenko will be in the film as well.

If I didn't know about McDonagh before Seven Psychopaths, I'd say that the film looks completely ridiculous and will probably be a huge flop – which seems to be a common curse of 2012. But the guy is no dummy, and he certainly has some tricks up his sleeves with this one.

Before you rush to see this, I'd highly suggest you go for In Bruges and Six Shooter first. McDonagh has a distinct picture of how he paints his characters. More so, how the characters perceive one another. I expect a similar picture for Seven Psychopaths, but I wouldn't be upset if it was completely different. If he can pull this one off, McDonagh might prove himself as one of the more versatile directors and writers in the industry today.

Doug Glaston works as an entertainment blogger for, where he focuses on latest films available. He has also made contributions to a number of techie blogs as well, since that's kind of his thing.

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