Saturday, September 13, 2008

Burn After Reading

Clever title but after watching the film perhaps the title should be Burn After Watching. I have always been a big fan of the Coens all the way back to Miller's Crossing and Raising Arizona but sometimes, sometimes they make a movie that is a little too airy and a little too obnoxious. Unfortunately Burn After Reading falls into this category many many times. Don't get me wrong the cast was great the script was well written....but the pacing was all over the place.A disgruntled former CIA agent Osborne Cox (John Malkovich) decides to write his memoirs about the agency that has snubbed him. The disc containing his memoirs winds up in the hands of two ignorent gym employees Linda (Frances McDormand) and Chad (Brad Pitt) who then try to extort money from Osborne in exchange for the disc. This is the general premise but wait there's more. The Coen Brothers in their odd wisdom decided to broaden the storyline to feature Harry Pfarrer (George Clooney) a serial philanderer who happens to also be bedding Osborne's very cold wife Katie (Tilda Swinton). Clooney is great and all but sometimes I'm not really sure why we are following his life more than the interesting Osborne Cox? Linda and Brad are funny but really annoying and I was glad to move on from them. Also I enjoyed J.K. Simmons as the befuddled C.I.A chief trying to figure out what the hell is going on in this movie, honestly I felt I related most to his character.The theme of this flick is paranoia and absurdity. Two things the Coens do very well but they do it too often. It also in my opinion doesn't seem to go anywhere. There just doesn't seem to be a satisfying climax to this story. There are some great laugh out loud moments and if you like theatre of strange then there will be something here for you to enjoy.Grade 2 1/2 Buckets

1 comment:

movie buff said...

Brad Pitt can be so funny, as long as he's not taking himself too seriously... in any case, it's about time someone made good use of his habitually spastic arm movements