Skip to content

Burn After Reading : Movie Review

March 1, 2009

Once in a while, a writer sitting in some dark corner of his room comes across an idea! And there it is, it goes on to become a masterpiece. How many people can boast of such things? I would say, in a year, you can hardly come out of the cinema with that amazed expression in your eyes and say…”Woah! Whatey movie!”. And in India, forget it dude!!!…Take any movie, you will find traces of one movie or the other. I am not suggesting that we don’t make great movies, of course we do, but they are so far and so few, that as a genuine movie buff you are left craving for more.

This Friday, I saw this movie named “Burn After Reading” directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. After having won the best film oscar last year for “No Country For Old Men”, the Coen Brothers are back with a black comedy this time. The tale revolves around 5-6 major characters, who are all connected in a weird manner. And as the plot unfolds, the story treads over unusual storyline and culminating in a bizzare manner. I won’t elaborate anything more on the story, but honestly, you will have to see the movie to understand the intricacies of this complex and compelling story.

George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton feature in this black comedy, which in the end is a complex web of suspecting, spying on each other and a lot more elements like that. I have never seen Brad Pitt having so much on screen, he’s totally at ease in his role and never ceases to leave you rolling on the floor everytime he’s on screen. George Clooney, Frances McDormandy, Tilda Swinton are adequate in their roles. But I think, John Malkovich is the guy to watch out for in the movie. He brings that intensity right from the first scene and is spellbinding in almost all his scenes. Music by Carter Burwell is beautiful, perfectly complimenting this riveting story. Direction needs no special words I suppose, Coen Brothers have a reputation of coming up with some great storylines and this one is no different from their earlier ones.

What qualifies to be a great cinema? Is it the reviews or the awards? Is the response of the audience? Or is it something else? If it’s the reviews, then the movie has got a positive response from all over the world added with some amount of cynicism from few quarters. If it’s the audience response, then the fact that the movie has raked in almost 3 times it’s production budget till now is a proof enough to claim that the movie has been accepted well across the world. But at the end of the day, the movie is not for everyone. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you have to be intelligent enough to appreciate it, but one does require an unfaltering zeal to watch out for some new way of storytelling and film making. The year has been great so far for Hollywood. They have made some fantastic movies like Iron Man, Dark Knight, Kungfu Panda, Wall-E. I am not sure if Burn After Reading figures in the top 10 of the year among all the reviews, but I really think it should. How often do you get to see movies which make you think and make you laugh as you think!

In the end, it’s a movie, which you shouldn’t miss! One of the very few films this year, which I can say has left a great impact on me. So much so that, I am going again tomorrow! But if you don’t want to take a risk of watching a different storyline and screenplay, then I suggest, sit in the comforts of your room and watch out for the next crowd-pleaser. I am sure, there’s one right around the corner.

(This post was written on 19th Dec, 2008 @

6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 2, 2009 1:47 pm

    3000th Lucky Me

    • Hemanth permalink*
      March 2, 2009 5:45 pm

      Congos Sid!!..:D

  2. March 3, 2009 9:50 pm

    I was in splits.This is a verrrry unique style of movie-making.i simply loved it.Clooney,pitt,malkovich..everyone..Note the way malkovich swears and gets frustrated.Hilarious.
    I would recommend this for those crazy guys who would admire sensibly crazy (Or vice-versa) movies.Go!

    • Hemanth permalink*
      March 4, 2009 12:45 am

      @Rajeev: I loved that part when Malkovich has no clue why someone is blackmailing him! He does that part so well…:)

      And the CIA episode!!…Lolz…the way it all ends is brilliant..:)

  3. March 4, 2009 4:24 am

    Your site has won a Blog of the Day Award (BOTDA)

    Your award will go live sometime on Fri, March 6, 2009

    Award Code

    Thank you,

    Bill Austin

  4. Anirudh permalink
    July 24, 2009 6:11 pm

    OMG what a movie!! i loved clooney and malkovich. In fact, i loved the entire plot and all the stupid characters that were involved. And trust me, you need some talent to use stupidity in the ‘right’ way!! That is why i love The Coen brothers. I’ve seen no director handle comedy with as much finesse and panache as they do.

    i recommend you to watch their movie -‘the big lebowski’ – it’s so funny that there’s a possibility of you fracturing your ribs =)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: