Arab Today, arab today carnage
Last Updated : GMT 15:03:29
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Carnage

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Carnage

New York - Arabstoday

Not a lot happens, in the usual sense of movie action, in “Carnage,” Roman Polanski’s swift and spry adaptation of Yasmina Reza’s play: voices are raised; whiskey is drunk; leftover fruit cobbler is consumed and (spoiler alert!) vomited. A few slightly more dramatic events have already taken place before the action starts. There has been a playground altercation between two young boys, and a hamster has been removed from a comfortable high-rise apartment and abandoned to its fate on the streets of Brooklyn. After spending some time in that apartment — a lovely piece of real estate, by the way, with million-dollar views and, most likely, an even higher appraised value — you might conclude that the poor animal has actually been liberated. The four human characters in the play seem, in contrast, unable to escape. They are two married couples, the parents of those schoolboys, who are meeting to figure out what to do about the unfortunate incident involving their sons. The Longstreets (Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly), whose child Zachary was injured, are the hosts. On several occasions their visitors, the Cowans (Christoph Waltz and Kate Winslet), make ready to leave, getting as far as the elevators before being drawn back into the Longstreets’ living room, as if compelled by a sorcerer’s curse or an unseen, chthonic force. One name for which might be the God of Carnage, the title of Ms. Reza’s play when it came to Broadway in 2009 by way of Paris. The glib alluring notion that spins through 80 minutes of contentious dialogue is that beneath the surface of civilized behavior lurks an unquenchable animal impulse, a principle of aggression we labor in vain to suppress. As the Cowans and the Longstreets go through the motions of mature, reasonable conflict resolution, that old primal force asserts itself in various forms. These nice, complacent people turn angry, competitive, contemptuous and stupid. The spectator, gliding and feinting around the edges of the room with Mr. Polanski’s nimble camera, anticipates violence and perhaps hopes for it to erupt. And there is some satisfaction in seeing this curious form of blood sport performed by professionals. All of the actors conduct themselves skillfully — hitting their marks and tearing through the sometimes awkward idioms of a translated script — without being entirely convincing. As Penelope Longstreet, a high-strung, high-minded avatar of liberal hypocrisy, Ms. Foster is frighteningly intense, and her skirmishes with Alan Cowan, Mr. Waltz’s cynical corporate lawyer, are full of vigor and venom. But the characters never quite rise above New Yorker-cartoon-style caricature. The smug big shot with his suit and his cellphone. The smug do-gooder with her fancy recipes and her African art. Along with their less-sharply-etched spouses — I’m not knocking Mr. Reilly or Ms. Winslet, just locating a soft spot in Ms. Reza’s text — Alan and Penelope are representatives of a social type that is meant to be at once global and local. They belong to a cosmopolitan, urban upper middle class that flourishes in the cities of the developed world. But satire requires a bit more specificity, and as a portrait of anxious, status-conscious Brooklyn parents living in a chiaroscuro of self-righteousness and guilt, “Carnage” misses its mark badly. I know these people. Why be coy? I am these people. And while these people might well be the parents of a Zachary and an Ethan, the sister of a Zachary would much more plausibly be a Sophie or an Emma than a Courtney. (Courtney? What is this, Beverly Hills? Reality television? Come on!) The elder Cowans and Longstreets would be on a first-name basis from the start so that the “call me Penelope,” “call me Alan” moment would never occur. (In France an invitation to replace the formal vous with the familiar tu might well be part of an encounter like this one, but this is not France.) And someone with Penelope Longstreet’s political views and multicultural concerns would be most unlikely to proclaim herself, without irony, a defender of “Western values.” This may seem like nitpicking, but “Carnage” is partly about the narcissism of small differences — the nuances of rank, taste and behavior that take on disproportionate importance in close quarters — and fudged or sloppy details expose a larger weakness of design. Like Ms. Reza’s “Art” this play consists of a superficially provocative idea slapped onto an almost-probable situation and whipped into a froth of hyper-articulate nonsense. No history of tenderness or tension clings to the couples. It is all but impossible to imagine that any of them have lives beyond the walls of the apartment. This may be part of the point, since “Carnage” is, formally at least, a study in claustrophobia. Confinement is Mr. Polanski’s signature. This is not the first time he has observed, with morbid and mischievous fascination, the behavior of people in apartments — there was Catherine Deneuve in “Repulsion,” Mia Farrow in “Rosemary’s Baby,” Adrien Brody in “The Pianist” — and here he proves himself once again to be a virtuoso of entrapment. But in trapping Ms. Reza’s play in the framed, flat dimensions of the screen, the director destroys it. In the theater the audience and the actors occupy the same space, which in this case means that the spectators are complicit in the ritual scourging taking place onstage. Theatrical space is already a world unto itself. But in Mr. Polanski’s film we are continually, literally aware of the world beyond the Longstreets’ apartment, which is visible through their windows. And this knowledge makes their bickering and posturing seem both unreal and trivial. “Carnage,” in any case, should not really be a movie. It should be a parlor game. My colleague Dwight Garner has already proposed a simple version consisting of a four-person reading of the play around a table, which sounds like more fun than watching Mr. Polanski’s film. But the idea could be refined further into a brutal amalgam of Twister, charades and contract bridge. We’ll need a dish of cold cobbler, a bottle of good Scotch, a cellphone, repressed hostility and vaguely liberal attitudes. Let’s play! I’ll be the hamster.

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today carnage Arab Today, arab today carnage

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today carnage Arab Today, arab today carnage

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Arab tradition glitters in Colombia

GMT 12:59 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Arab tradition glitters in Colombia
Arab Today, arab today Barcelona through George Orwell’s eyes

GMT 13:44 2017 Friday ,20 October

Barcelona through George Orwell’s eyes
Arab Today, arab today Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts

GMT 17:52 2017 Sunday ,03 September

Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts
Arab Today, arab today Tillerson heads to Gulf, downbeat

GMT 09:23 2017 Friday ,20 October

Tillerson heads to Gulf, downbeat
Arab Today, arab today Hiring not part of Alibaba pledge

GMT 11:26 2017 Wednesday ,18 October

Hiring not part of Alibaba pledge
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Sidem reveals plan to improve education

GMT 15:52 2017 Friday ,06 October

Sidem reveals plan to improve education
Arab Today, arab today Ex-French minister Dati wants tough action

GMT 10:54 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Ex-French minister Dati wants tough action
Arab Today, arab today Massacre fears spark race

GMT 19:09 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Massacre fears spark race
Arab Today, arab today The history of solar eclipses

GMT 05:16 2017 Sunday ,20 August

The history of solar eclipses
Arab Today, arab today Sweden to get biggest car factory

GMT 14:10 2017 Friday ,20 October

Sweden to get biggest car factory
Arab Today, arab today Mercedes says recalls 400,000 UK cars

GMT 06:56 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Mercedes says recalls 400,000 UK cars
Arab Today, arab today Actress Shery Adel happy for Egypt’s qualification

GMT 08:57 2017 Wednesday ,18 October

Actress Shery Adel happy for Egypt’s qualification
Arab Today, arab today Climate-disrupting volcanoes helped topple

GMT 16:00 2017 Wednesday ,18 October

Climate-disrupting volcanoes helped topple

GMT 07:47 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Hussein Fahmy happy for honoring in festival

GMT 18:15 2017 Monday ,16 October

British actress becomes fifth woman

GMT 18:29 2017 Sunday ,03 September

Designer produced new set of ornaments

GMT 05:11 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Three killed, 360,000 without power

GMT 10:46 2017 Saturday ,05 August

Nanis reveals simple ideas for home renovation

GMT 06:43 2017 Wednesday ,18 October

Fake dentists ply brisk trade

GMT 06:49 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

EasyJet, Lufthansa among seven to bid

GMT 17:12 2017 Monday ,07 August

Al-Shawaifi reveals secrets of total solar eclipse

GMT 20:46 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Qualcomm files lawsuits in China to ban iPhones

GMT 19:29 2017 Tuesday ,29 August

Yomna: decoration leaved positive effects
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday