Carnage Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

Ordinary life story. America, New York, Brooklyn. Two schoolchildren Zachary Cowan and Ethan Longstreet got into a fight during recess, and Zachary picked up a branch from the ground and cracked Ethan in the face. As a result, two teeth were knocked out, and a nerve also had to be killed in one of the teeth, and as a result, Zachary’s parents are a polished lawyer Alan (Christoph Waltz) and his wife Nancy (Kate Winslet), who is either an investment broker or something else. what, – they come to the parents of the injured Ethan – the merchant of all sorts of household items Michael (John C. Reilly) and the unsuccessful writer Penelope (Jodie Foster), obsessed with fighting something out there in Africa – to make a statement for the insurance company. Which statement was drawn up rather quickly, except that the definition of “armed with a stick” at the request of the lawyer was replaced by “a stick raised from the ground.”

Well, that’s it, the job is done, Zachary’s parents are trying to bow out, and both families are complacently glad that they all behave like civilized people and this delicate issue is resolved peacefully and to everyone’s pleasure.

True, Penelope is somehow not very satisfied with the state of affairs: her son is somehow disfigured, so she is trying to find out if Zachary is going to apologize. But his parents think that this is clearly superfluous – well, you know, they’re just boys, everything happens there and all that.

However, the conversation gradually turns into a not so complacent plane, and Michael, in order to extinguish the conflict, invites Alan and Nancy to taste coffee with a pie of their own making.


This film is based on the play by the French writer Yasmina Reza “The God of Massacre”. Performances based on this play in France were notable success, and director Roman Polanski decided to make a film based on this play – in a purely theatrical manner: literally three or four locations (living room, kitchen, bathroom, corridor in front of the elevator) and four actors who hold all action.

The name “Massacre” arose from the title of the play, in which, in turn, some African epic is played out.

It is clear that such a name for certain viewers creates a certain syndrome of deceived expectations: well, they hoped for guts, blood and dismemberment, well, or at least for a hair-pulling fight between two respectable families, and here the whole film is solid talk, although and in high tones.

I just love such performance films – at least they are noticeably more interesting and exciting than some regular comics or action movies in which there is no normal script as unnecessary.

Polanski moved the action to New York, Brooklyn (it was all filmed, of course, not in the States, where Polanski was denied entry for the sins of youth, but in Paris), and instead of the French, he made the main characters Americans: a polished cynical lawyer who despised everyone around, a lady from Wall Street tired of her husband, a dealer in all sorts of garbage and a nervous lady from unrealized pseudo-intellectuals, besides, she is also preoccupied with the fate of some Africans there.

Of course, when four people are discussing something in a closed room for a long time, the audience has the right to expect that some secret family problems, if not secrets, will begin to come out there. It all starts with a discussion of the difference in views on the upbringing of children, while each of the participants carefully probes the opponents. Alan viciously teases the good-natured Michael, who is trying to reconcile everyone, Nancy tries to show sincere interest in Penelope’s hobbies, although it is perfectly clear how much she cares about everything, and Penelope tries to convince Nancy and Alan that they should demand from Zachary what Penelope wants from him. And although Alan tries to convince her that Zachary is a little asshole and he will not do anything that is required of him, Penelope does not let up.

Well, then the homemade cake and Nancy’s stressful state will play their role, the richly published album with Kokoschka’s drawings, which Penelope loves so much, will receive its share of audience criticism, the characters will gradually stop being hypocrites and begin to cut the truth right in the face, moreover, like a second family , as well as each other.

And if Michael thinks that a great 18-year-old whiskey will help somehow reduce aggression and relax, then it will most likely be the other way around. However, I hasten to reassure the most respectable public – there will be no assault, and even more so self-mutilation. In the end, all people are civilized, although at some point something hidden will begin to spill out of them. But these are ordinary people, they all have something hidden that at some point will burst out.

Good movie, I liked it. I somehow missed it when it came out, then I was going to watch it several times – and now I finally got it. I repeat, I love performance films and I am not at all worried about the fact that the whole picture takes place in conversations. The question here is what kind of conversations are these and which actors portray the main characters.

Here Polanski assembled an excellent cast – in fact, because of this, the budget of a completely chamber film swelled up to $ 25 million, as a result of which the picture failed miserably at the box office.

Christoph Waltz is an actor, let’s say, very different. Not in the sense that a wide range of characters is available to him, not at all. On the contrary, he is a very characteristic actor and his pinnacle is Hans Landa from Tarantino’s “Inglorious Basterds”, and, frankly, the role was a masterpiece, after which this Austrian actor began to be actively filmed in Hollywood (and not only there).

But, however, it quickly became clear that Waltz requires a very tough director’s hand. Because if he is allowed to take his own course, then it turns out frankly sucks, what were his roles in “The Musketeers” (well, that’s okay, a comic book) and especially in “Big Eyes”.

And I was very interested to see what Waltz will be in this film. However, Roman Polanski belongs to the directors who know perfectly well what they want, so my premonitions did not deceive me – here Waltz’s character turned out to be very bright: a cynical lawyer, constantly chatting on the phone, who seemed to be unbreakable, but nevertheless it became less clear that there could be justice for him.

Jodie Foster as Penelope, posing as a big intellectual and preoccupied with the fate of the whole world, is excellent, especially when they began to bring her to clean water and she began to defend her beliefs (or what she takes for beliefs) already on the verge of hysteria. I read somewhere that Foster and Winslet overacted a lot – I don’t agree with this even once. On the contrary, the corresponding emotions were shown very authentically.

Kate Winslet has a lady who is sick of her own husband, all the time constantly solving business issues on the phone, sick of all modern art, and generally sick of many people. And we will not blame her for the fact that Kokoschka’s album eventually suffered from this – after all, this is how this Kokoschka needs it!

And the degree of foresight in Kate looked no less authentic than in Foster, but Nancy actually lit up at the end much cooler, Bublik and I applauded directly. And on the stage with a vase, they just laughed out loud – it was smartly done.

John C. Reilly is an actor who never gets lost against the background of other actors, well, he also has a great role here: at first, Michael is a kind of dude, a rag who always tries to reconcile everyone, but he also has his own inner animal (not a hamster, no , rather a vicious wombat) that eventually crawls out.

Very good movie, just class! But here you need to understand in advance what you will see. And if you tune in to a pure performance and then just watch how gracefully this whole talking shop unwinds, it personally gave me great pleasure, it’s good that I still watched this film.

A separate joy is to read the reviews of critics after watching. From this I took away that:

the film is unacceptably short – ten minutes less than an hour and a half, so it was necessary to make a short film;

Polanski hates his heroes;

Polanski hates everyone in general;

with this film, Polanski demands an end to the persecution of him in the States;

Polanski’s main characters are completely uninteresting;

Polanski is not at all clear why he made this film;

it is a brilliant satire on bourgeois society.

And that’s why I didn’t come across the phrase “Polanski brilliantly showed Trump’s current America” – it’s because the film is still 2011, which is why this phrase didn’t work out. I would take it off now – it would have happened.

PS I listened to the licensed dubbing. With him, of course, part of the charm disappears, but I must say that the translation seems to be done quite well, and the voice acting more or less corresponds to the original voices, so I think it’s quite possible to watch it in dubbing. Also in a well-known place there are versions with United Statesn subtitles.


Massacre / Carnage movie meaning

Director: Roman Polanski Cast: Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, Elvis Polanski, Eliot Berger, Joseph Rezvin, Nathan Rippy, Tanya Lauper, Julie Adams

Budget: $25 million, Global gross: $27 million
Tragicomedy, Germany-France-Spain-Poland, 2011, 80 min.

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