The truth, as we all know is mostly that which we are completely unaware of. "Carnage" takes an absolutely innocent incident to show us that what we know of ourselves and our relationships with those around us, is not how it really is.
After their son knocks two teeth of a classmates, Alan (Christoph Waltz) and Nancy (Kate Winslet) visit the victim's parents Michael (John C. Reilly) and Penelope (Jodie Foster). What begins as four mature adults sorting out a children's issue politely ends up becoming an emotional carnage as things spin out of control and the four people turn children, fighting and screaming worse than kids.
Despite having two couples, who should be ideally fighting in unison, there's changing of favours, ganging up of seemingly opposite factions even when by the end we have everyone for himself and herself.
It's not surprising that the world is in such a bad shape because you and I are not that different from these four people.
The strength of the film is its sharp, witty, incisive and hilarious writing. Based on a play by French playwright Yasmina Rezait, it takes an innocuous conversation that slowly spins out of control as everyone's controls falls apart and their true nature and hypocrisies are revealed.
The two couples become emblematic of every couple in the world. You are bound to find your partner in one of the four characters who inhabit the film or in a mix of their idiosyncrasies.
Though "Carnage" stops short of taking the problems beyond what you see between the two families, you realise that the squabbles of our world is no different than the hilarious squabbles of these four people that will often have you laughing - after all, uneasy lie the mouths that deliberate.
To know how you can confine a film inside a room for two hours, and yet ensure that the viewer does not leave his room, watch this film. You will know that in such a scenario, what should really work in your favour, is the casting.
Everyone is good in the film but it is the two women - Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet who steal the show with their believable and inspiring performance.
"Carnage" is in the tradition of cinematic adaptations of good plays and though it does not reach the brilliance of an "A Streetcar Named Desire" or "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" or "Sleuth", it will indeed remind you of them. Therein lies one of its greatest strength.
Critic: Satyen K. Bordoloi
(4 / 5) : Very Good