Burn After Reading
The Coens have set out to create the most ridiculously complex plot they could, and they’ve succeeded with flying colors. Late in the film, when two agents muse how pointlessly confusing the whole thing is the audience is right there with them. The entire film is an hour and a half of pointless confusion, but it couldn’t be more hilarious. When events take the trademark dark Coen Brothers twist, the film becomes even more convoluted. It relentlessly parodies the look-over-your-shoulder paranoid thrillers and the every-word-has-a-hidden-meaning spy films that is purposely loses itself as it winds to a ludicrously messy finale.
Coen Brothers vet McDormand puts in another classic performance that is a masterpiece of earnest lunacy. The audience simultaneously feels for Linda as she laments over her body image and roars with laughter as she bursts into each new twist with blind confidence and an apparent determination to mispronounce names. Malkovich is sways wildly from screaming matches to complete despair in the most exaggerated way possible. But the life of the film lies with Brad Pitt. Chad is a jock who forgot that he graduated from high school, more dedicated to his job and his bicycle than seems humanly possible. He completely shreds his cool-guy personality and still manages to be cool. With his almost giggly outbursts and his pumped dances, he may be the coolest idiot around.
It may not be the most thought-provoking film out there and you’d be hard-pressed to justify why it all happened. But when the results are this fun, who cares?
Full review at http://newmanscorner.blogspot.com