Friday, January 13, 2012
I can't help but wonder what attracted legendary director Roman Polanski to this particular project? This faithful adaptation of the Broadway hit 'God of Carnage' only boasts a cast of four (Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly, Kate Winslet, and Christoph Waltz) and takes place in just one location, a New York City apartment (aside from a very brief prologue and epilogue.) And the premise is simple: Two couples get together to discuss the fight their children had at the playground. But what begins as calm, rational conversation slowly escalates. So is that enough for a theatrically released feature film? It turns out, for me, it is.
I actually saw the play on Broadway, starring Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, James Gandalfini, and Marcia Gay Harden, and it was really very enjoyable, albeit too short. But I didn't for one minute think it would make a good feature film. And had I even considered it, I never would have thought of Polanski to helm it. It's quite different than his usual material. But I guess that's what makes Polanski more of a visionary than I am. He really didn't make many changes at all, but it still translates well to film and was just as enjoyable in its new form with a cast just as good as the original. This is one for those who appreciate a simple story jam packed with fast, clever dialogue. And just like my reaction to the original, my only complaint is it's too short. (And I rarely say that about a movie.) I just hope the trend of adapting the best of Broadway to feature films continues so I don't have to fork over $175 for 90 minutes of entertainment. So go see this one for me.