What can I say about this film that won't make it sound completely and utterly insane?
I have never quite seen a film that reaches the same level of absurdity and insanity, that Burn After Reading manages to achieve.
This is a loopy black comedy based around lies, deciept and deception. The story is about the trials and tribulations, two gym employees encounter when they come across what they believe to be a document containing important government codes. Brad Pitts character believes that if they return the codes to the owner they will be rewarded; however when the disgruntled CIA agent does not offer them money for their good deed, they threaten to keep the files until their demands are met. What makes this funny is that the Important government documents are in fact a first draft of the CIA agents memoirs, and are of no real importance at all. George Clooney plays a policeman with a strong attraction to the fairer sex. I will not tell you how he comes into the story however he does become part of this very messy situation in a rather unconventional way.
To start i will say that the acting was sublime in this film. The two stand out performances - although most were flawless - would have to be George Clooney as the policeman and Brad Pitt as the incredibly simple gym instructor. Whilst watching it I could see that both had really become the characters they were trying to act out, now I will be honest these roles were the two most dynamic parts and that is probably why they stood out so well, however I would say that these guys fitted these roles perfectly.
There were so many defining moments in this film, my favorite scene would probably have to be when the gym staff first discover the document, it is a really pleasing and most humorous point in the film. This film has a dark dry sense of humour, however this scene was the real laugh out loud moment. There are various other scenes that shock you and make you laugh at the hilarity of the characters portrayed; although I think they will be more effective if you don't expect them. As a side note I would also mention that it is not often you see a film manage to tell three stories and bring them all together with such a level of plausibility.
This film takes place in the leafy suburbs of the New York and Brooklyn areas of america. I felt the humour of the film was enhanced as it meant that all of these crazy events were unraveling in a world that seemed completely ordinary and relateable.
As I am writing this review I am actually struggling to think of anything that was severely wrong with this film as it is, just that good!
However, I would say that they could have developed George Clooney's character somewhat as he did kind of feel like a bit of a third wheel to me, I sort of got the impression that that they chucked him in as a way of making the story seem a little crazier.
All in all then Burn After Reading is a barmy film which manages to deal with lots of characters, all completely separate from each other and seemingly bring them together with a really fun plot device. The idea is truly unique and is somewhat like a spoof on the espionage and thriller film genres. This film should be near the top of your list of films to see; It makes you laugh jump and laugh again.