9.15.2008

Film Review: Burn After Reading

by Z*
Special to iVoryTowerz

If it’s a rule for movie reviewers not to read about movies before watching them, it should be a rule for moviegoers not to read in-depth movie critiques before going to the cinema. A thorough analysis inevitably combines historical background of directors that can be absolutely irrelevant to the subject of discussion.

So it is with the new film by the Coen brothers (Joel and Ethan). Yes, the famous Coen brothers produced the dark comedy Burn After Reading. And no, it is nothing like their 2007 Academy Award-winning No Country for Old Men. But why should it be?


After all, making a serious, highly acclaimed thriller does not mean an end to a quirky sense of humor. A good movie experience is a simple enjoyment of the story, cast, music and a few laughs or tears. And this is what awaits you in Burn After Reading. That means you will not be laughing at every single word or move, with the exception of the idiocy of the character played by Brad Pitt, but overall satisfaction is guaranteed unless you are expecting a thought-provoking political satire of life in Washington, DC.

The great thing about Burn After Reading is its glamorous cast having quite unusual parts. George Clooney, Frances McDormand, Pitt, Tilda Swinton, John Malkovich still seem credible: living the incredible lifestyles of obsessives, addicts, lovers, and the misunderstood. Surprisingly, a lack of common sense is logically woven into the twisted plot of this comedy. The CIA is high profile, Russians are U.S. enemies, a perfect body is a solution to loneliness — somehow these ideas function together to the fast-paced drum sounds created by Carter Burwell, who wrote the original music for the film.

Although the movie is getting mixed reviews, hate it or love it, you will most likely be in between strong emotions about it. Burn After Reading is a good movie to go to in the evening to have something to laugh about and forget it the day after.

*Z is from a country that made up the Soviet Union, and her writing on cultural and political matters could have a backlash when she returns home from the U.S., so she writes under a pseudonym.

(The promotional photo from
Burn After Reading shows George Clooney and Frances McDormand sharing a laugh in one scene; the photo is from Focus Features. Burn After Reading was the top film at the U.S. box office this past weekend. To see an R-rated trailer for the film, please check below.)













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1 comments:

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

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