It's been 4 days now since I saw Killing Them Softly, the latest film by Andrew Dominik and it's one of those films that I'm still in the process of digesting. I consider it high praise when a film causes me days of thinking about it.
What I'm most impressed about with the film is how perfectly is has contrasted the consequences of failure in a criminal underworld against the backdrop of the recent financial crisis and it almost argues that the ramifications of these criminals is almost fair.
Beyond such a thematic reading, I have a thorough appreciation for Brad Pitt's Jackie Cogan and how this character operates as the protagonist in the film. He's clearly the protagonist of the film acting as a central agent for the disparate characters presented, but I can't help but waive the feeling that his character doesn't seem to go through any dramatic sense of change. As a director I find this interesting as it flies in the face of conventional wisdom (though this is clearly an unconventional film in many ways), yet works perfectly. It's much more about watching these characters inhabit their existing environment, which is all the more obvious when the previous title of the film was Cogan's Trade.
Perhaps the reason this works is because there's such a powerful thematic link holding all these elements together, depicting in a unique way the irony of the American dream.
I can only hope that this format becomes a more popular way of making films.
Killing Them Softly is definitely a film worth checking out. In fact it may be my favourite film of 2012 (though I'm yet to see Argo)