Monday, June 27, 2011

Burn After Reading Defies Genre

If you wanna travel to Washington D.C. and burrow into the world of espionage, you need a guide who knows more about the inner workings of the intelligence community than anyone else. I'm speaking, of course, about George Clooney. How does a playboy in Italy get such info? If I told you that, I'd have to kill you.

The movie Burn After Reading is more enjoyable when you don't try to force it into a genre. It's not serious enough to be drama and it's not funny enough to be comedy. It's a brilliant film that clearly shows how CIA disinformation is not much different than the lies people tell themselves.

The characters indulge in the following delusions. "This affair will relieve the pain of a cold marriage." "This cosmetic surgery will neutralize the effects of aging." "This crime I'm committing will simplify my life."  "This writing gig will easily replace my job." There's a lot of bullshit out there folks, and just 'cause everyone else is steppin' in it, don't mean you should.

John Malkovich plays the mid-life-crisis guy central to the farce. Brad Pitt (who apparently bought the fabrication that Angelina Jolie is hotter than Jennifer Aniston) plays a bouncy personal trainer (who definitely makes you want to clench your butt cheeks and hold).

While Doctor House says everybody lies as if everybody should, doctors of anthropology have found "the belief that people should represent reality as they perceive it" (otherwise known as truth-telling) is a global ethical value. Without it, society breaks down. According to Jewish Passover tradition, Santa bypasses the homes of children who fib. Plus, having only one story to remember makes drinking a lot more fun.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed this movie! I already love Brad Pit, but he was adorably annoying in Burn After Reading. You're right, it doesn't really fit into a genre - but it' awesome for sure :-)