Martin Mcdonaugh’s Seven Psychopaths utilizes its incredibly talented cast of actors to poke fun at the clichés of Hollywood and the irrational tendencies that come along with it. First, we have Marty (Colin Farrell) the alcoholic screenwriter, and his good buddy and our antihero Billy (Sam Rockwell). Early in the film, we learn that Marty has a problem. His screenplay is “under development” and thus he is only left with a title, “Seven Psychopaths”. Luckily his friend Billy is determined to help him write this screenplay and find him some worthy psychopaths, even if that means becoming one himself.
We can agree that Billy has the best of intentions. He is trying to be the best friend he can be to Marty. From writing a classified ad in the papers calling psychopaths to his home, to becoming the Jack of Diamonds serial killer, he successfully able to cure Marty of his Writer’s block. Of course this didn’t come without consequences. Ironically, it wasn’t killing those mobsters in cold blood that seemed to have consequences, but it was the taking of Bonny (played by Bonny), the beloved Shih-Tzu of a psychopathic crime boss, Charlie. (Woody Harrelson) We know that Billy didn’t take Bonny by coincidence. We find out later that he did it to help out his girlfriend Angela, who was also the girlfriend of Charlie, by holding Bonny ransom until Charlie started acting like a decent guy.
Billy’s actions ultimately lead to the death of Hans’ wife, and led to Marty, Billy, and Hans to live life on the run. It’s at this point in the film that the characters begin to be aware that they are all playing the role in Marty’s film. Marty wants to end all of this peacefully, while Billy wants the final shootout to the point where he leaves everyone no choice but to be a part of it. It is this point in the film where I got the sense that Marty represents the creative and individualistic director, while Billy represents the psychotic grasp that Hollywood has on film. Just like Hollywood, Billy forces his hand into the story and takes total control to make sure it ends the way he wants it to.
It is probably safe to say that all these psychopaths represent Hollywood. The excessive violence and lack of logic and common sense gives a pretty good personification of how some movies that Hollywood has created are like. In fact, I believe the only two characters that are “normal” are Marty and Hans. Both of them are against violence, and both of them seem to know what it takes to make a good movie. In fact, I would not consider Hans as one of the psychopaths. He is definitely eccentric, but calling him a psycho seems a little too far.
Having said all of that, I feel that Billy may be one of the best examples of what entails an antihero. He is a person with only his friends in mind. He sacrifices his life all in order to help his friend become successful. Most of his actions were immoral and wrong, but his intentions could not have been more pure.
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