Burn After Reading impresses audience
With its persistent dramatic music and multiple character plots, Burn After Reading is one of the must-see movies of the year. Starring Brad Pitt and George Clooney, the dynamo team from the Ocean’s series, this movie rages as a comedy that will have you laughing for no apparent reason.
After a long-term employee (John Malkovich) gets terminated from the CIA, his memoirs fall into the hands of two dim-witted gym trainers who think it’s a top-secret code. Pitt plays a simple gym trainer that seems to be nobody and yet is perfectly content in his own little world. He’s accompanied by Tilda Swinton as the second gym trainer, who’s in a constant battle against her appearance and has turned to dating websites.
In a struggle to find cash to fund some of Swinton’s character’s “extra needs” — plastic surgery enhancements — the two decide that blackmail is the best option. As more and more characters get sucked in, sheer mayhem ensues. Directed by the Coen brothers, who also directed wacky comedies such as O Brother, Where Art Thou?, this movie is nowhere near a regular comedy movie.
This comedy style is rather low key. Pitt, collaborating for the first time with the Coens, accentuates the brothers’ comedy style with great fun. The manner in which Pitt is able to portray a simple, somewhat stupid man makes his character a favorite. This character is perfectly matched with Clooney’s natural ability to play a suave, hunky ladies’ man.
However, this movie is not for the clear-cut, definitive viewer. This movie lacks coherency and direction, yet in a fantastic, witty manner. There are consistent, various parallel plots, and keeping up with each takes a little bit of effort. The scene transitions are done with a small taste of the Coen brothers’ comedy in the matter of abrupt scenes that bring disbelief.
If laughing about the small things is your type of humor, then Burn After Reading is the movie for you. It is essentially about nothing, yet in an extreme attempt to accomplish that nothing in a hilarious, bold way, becomes something after all. With all the high recommendations and praise for Burn After Reading, if this movie doesn’t look appealing yet, it’s only a matter of time before the curiosity about this different, hilarious movie takes over.