Burn After Reading (2008)

Burn After Reading

I have no idea why I hadn’t seen Burn After Reading before today but I’m guessing I was just stupid. Don’t worry, I’m currently metaphorically banging my head against the table whilst thinking that it took me 5 years to see this entertaining and yet serious comedy that is light years away from the previous “funny” experience I had with Identity Thief. There’s a small chance that yesterdays horror as well as Brad Pitt’s astonishing performance lead to today’s high rating but then again, Burn After Reading is delightful on its own and yet another hit for the Coen brothers.

The delightful part about this movie was seeing Brad Pitt and George Clooney on the screen. I’ve missed them, apart and together – even though they didn’t have much screen time together in Burn After Reading. Chad (Pitt) was the highlight of the movie and to be fair, the flow kind of fell apart after he was no longer present. This isn’t totally a bad thing because that just goes to show how amazing Pitt’s performance actually was – it was adorable and funny! Harry’s character (Clooney) held it together as well, I mean, there’s a solid reason I have and will continue to like Clooney and it’s the fact that he is very enjoyable. There’s just that small problem with the flow of the movie, as I already mentioned, everything goes into full mayhem in the second half and falls apart a little.

The first half of the movie was certainly one of the best this week, maybe even this month, considering I haven’t seen a lot of great movies lately. It was light and entertaining, Chad and Linda (Frances McDormand) had some great moments accompanied by a very furious Osborne (John Malkovich). Add Katie (Tilda Swinton) to the mix and you’ve got yourself a very strong group of characters as well as the cast, where everybody played to their full potential. Katie’s role was restrained and more intelligent among the rest, Osborne was almost over the edge of saninty borderline manic (which Malkovich almost always is) and Linda was annoyingly naive at times. Yes, all of them had their stupid moments but the only acotr who seemed to pull that kind of subtle mocking totally together was Pitt. Again, I’m praising him but I can’t help it, his character was written to stand out and with his acting chops – he did!

The plot itself was all over the place with various story lines happening at once and then kind of coming together in the end. It was certainly a mockery of the CIA but also the people themselves, still the fact that nobody seemed to take things seriously made the movie light. Burn After Reading is not supposed to be serious, yet it isn’t the type of funny Hollywood is chasing these days – and that makes it good in my book. That doesn’t mean you won’t get a few laughs during this movie, believe me, when Harry shows Linda his secret project I dare you not to laugh out loud! The fact that it was Clooney who portrayed Harry made that scene even funnier because of the whole context concept I’m not gonna go into right now. But the secret project – just brilliant!

Concluding this rather praising post, also quite a short one because it’s Friday after all, Burn After Reading was good and yet it could have been amazing. The fact that the second half of the movie didn’t involve Pitt and the plot jumped all over the place, made it a bit less than perfect. Then again, I’m still rating it high because I just loved the cast and I love Brad Pitt. There it is, it’s out there, soak it in and deal with it. Though I doubt anybody has any objections to that notion – we all love Pitt, right?

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7 thoughts on “Burn After Reading (2008)”

  1. I’ve heard that many were disappointed in this but I absolutely loved it. I thought it was hilarious and every one of the cast were on great form. Love Richard Jenkins in it.

  2. Better late than never and it was an amazing and very funny movie. You are right that Pitt was excellent in this. I especially like the ending with the CIA officials about what they learned.

  3. So glad you liked this one! It gets so much hate and it’s actually one of my favorite comedies. I’m totally with you on Pitt, Chad was hilarious! I also loved JK Simmons and Malkovich, couldn’t stop laughing on their scenes and during Clooney cutting carrots part 😛

    1. It’s not like a comedy-comedy but more like something much more intelligent funny. Currently watching Pitt portraying my favorite role – Tyler Durden! But Chad is definitely somewhere in the Top 3!

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