I caught 2 films on the plane, with that shitty little screen that gets all the glare so you can’t really see anything. The first was Burn After Reading, by the Coen brothers, whose previous No Country For Old Men, I enjoyed immensely. The other was Slumdog Millionaire, by Danny Boyle, who has disappointed me with every film post Trainspotting.

Slumdog won some awards and shit. I have no clue why that happened. Implausible, soppy and tiring, it was a steaming pile of turd. I didn’t expect Trainspotting 2.0 but I didn’t want a Danny Boyle remix of a bastardized version of Bollywood either. I’m pretty sure, there’s way more implausible and way more sentimental Indian films with the dancing round trees and one man versus an army fight scenes that merit more than this piece of crap. This one just reeks of colonial reappropriation disguised behind naivete and M.I.A on your soundtrack.

Burn After Reading, thankfully, was much better. A messy, complicated piece that has got a lot of characters jostling for screen space, it wasn’t quite the Coen brothers’ best but it was still very enjoyable.

Featuring Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich and Tilda Swinton, it’s one of those films where you get these wacky weirdos whose paths cross and interlace and you ultimately reach one final conclusion where everyone’s future is resolved.

Malkovich plays a low level CIA agent, Osbourne Cox, who has just been forced to quit from his job. He decides to write a memoir of his life in his spare time. Swinton plays his wife, who’s verging on a divorce and on the advice of her lawyer, copies some files off her husband’s computer, including said memoirs. The lawyer’s receptionist then mistakenly leaves the CD behind at a gym. This is where Pitt’s dim witted personal trainer, Chad Feldheimer, finds the CD and thinks its classified CIA crap and shows it to his colleagues, which include McDormand’s Linda Litzke. Together, they try to contact Cox, in the hope of getting some financial reward. However a mix of Chad’s stupidity, Cox’s anger and Litzke’s greed turns it into a complex blackmailing instead. Along the way, we also see Cox’s wife having an affair with Clooney’s Treasury Agent character, who’s got a big part to play as well.

From there, each individual’s personal prerogative drive them on towards the finish line. Linda Litzke is driven by some desire to meet a guy with a sense of humour but thinking that she needs massive plastic surgery to do so. Cox’s bewilderment that his memoirs have fallen into the hands of dimwits who somehow represent the mass of stupidity that he no longer wants to protect, defines his holier than thou arrogance that is to be his downfall.

Its pretty funny and you get the contrasts between the high falutin Osbourne Cox with his Princeton alumni status and Chad Feldheimer, with the amoebic intellect concept. Worth watching if you enjoy the idea of watching random particles colliding and the reactions that result.

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