Burn After Reading
Intelligence is relative is the tagline and nothing sums up the coming and goings of this movie better, involving a lowly ex-CIA spook and his missing memoirs, the gym bunnies who find it, his old boss and the Russians.
Report back to me when it makes sense.
Burn After Reading really lampoons the CIA’s obsessive need to know everything, whilst safeguarding what they know so that others can’t find out. But the media loves to have a circus when something is left on the train, park bench etc, and a supposed security breach with global ramifications is floated, when all the more realistically, its probably nothing more than some lowly hacks report on the later than normal migration of Canadian Geese.
With an all star cast including Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Tilda Swinton and the brilliant no matter what the role is, John Malkovich, Burn After Reading is a powerhouse of talent. For a black comedy, the over jubilant gayness of Pitt’s character lends a much needed lightness to the whole affair, whilst Clooney proves that like wine, fine actors improve with age, as his neurotic, almost OCD character is probably the stand out performance of the movie.
When the movie finally wraps up all the loose ends, and the head of the CIA asks What did we learn? It’s easy to overlook the biting comment that the Coen brothers have to say on the western worlds addiction to beauty and the lengths some people will go to improve their lives through surgery, whilst missing out on the beauty that other people see in them.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read.
Rating: Not Yet Rated.
Duration: 96 mins.
Genre: Comedy, Crime.
Director: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen.
Actors: Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand, George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, John Malkovich, J.K. Simmons.
Release Date: Thursday 16 October, 2008.