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“Seven Psychopaths” by Martin McDonagh Essay

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Updated: Apr 3rd, 2020


Seven Psychopaths (2012) is comedy, which portrays crime. The comedy is worth viewing, although it contains scenes of bloody violence, pervasive language, crime, and revenge. Therefore, Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rates the comedy as R, which means that parents should restrict children under the age of 17 years from watching it.


The comedy ranked top in the film industry when it first appeared in European cinemas on 5 October 2012 and later appeared on Canadian cinemas on 12 December 2012. Generally, the comedy has a positive review because Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes give it the scores of 66% and 83% respectively in online ratings. The film has a running time of 1 hour 49 minutes.


Seven Psychopaths is a comedy, which depicts a scriptwriter struggling in the criminal world of Los Angeles. Martin McDonagh is an Irish writer and director of the comedy. The scenes of crime, revenge, suicide, and violence could cause moral degradation among viewers of Seven Psychopaths, and thus, not recommended for all family viewing as MPAA rates it as restricted (R).

The hilly landscape of Los Angeles is the main scenery of the comedy, where two hit men stand as they wait for their next victim. A masked figure then ambushes the hit men and scattered cards, which identify Jack of Diamonds as the murderer. Hence, the movie review holds that the comedy depicts the experiences of psychopaths in the world of crime.

Actor’s roles

Marty Farrell, the main character, acts as a writer struggling to get a suitable plot for the script, which he must write in Los Angeles. Evidently, it is easy to understand Marty Farrell in the manner he indulges himself in the criminal world. Charlie Costello has impulsive and violent character, which depicts him as a criminal. He loses his pet to the abductors, who take and demand ransom.

Billy Bickle plays as the leader of the dog abduction syndicate and every decision he makes leads him into trouble. Billy Bickle and Hans Kieslowski are both friends with Marty Farrell, but they are both abductors of dogs. When Zachariah responds to an advert in the newspapers by attending an event of crazy psychopaths, he meets Marty and Billy, and he starts to narrate his story to them.

The plot

The comedy, Seven Psychopaths, has a complex plot in which Billy Bickle, who is unemployed actor, promises to help Marty with his problem of finding a suitable plot for his screenplay. Evidently, the geographic location of where the movie takes place is the rocky hills and plains of Los Angles. Occupationally, Billy survives by snatching pets and requesting their owners to pay a ransom to regain their pets. Billy introduces Hans Kieslowski, his partner in snatching dogs, to Marty.

Since Hans and Billy are abductors, they took the pet of Charlie Costello named Bonny and requested for ransom. The act of abducting pets is in tandem with the current news because it is happening in Mexico. Moreover, the act of dog abducting relates closely to abduction of children in which the abductors demand a ransom in return for the release of the abducted.

Charlie and his team of thugs under the leadership of Paulo uncover the connection of Hans and the abductors of Bonny, the pet. As Bonny is missing, Charlie and his colleagues threaten Hans and Marty to return the pet or risk their lives with death. However, the perpetrator comes and kills all the thugs present at the scene.

Billy meets his girlfriend, Angela, at Charlie’s house and he informs her that he abducted the pet belonging to Charlie. Immediately, Angel makes a call to Charlie and informs him about the whereabouts of his pet. Unfortunately, Billy identifies himself as the Jack of Diamonds killer and shoots her to die. Hence, the shootings and deaths create tensions and make the movie sad.

Cinematic Characteristics

The camerawork of the comedy is superb because it captures scenes vividly. The director of the movie edited and directed the movie well because there is a smooth transition from one scene to another with music, sounds, and soundtracks that inform viewers about the flow of the movie. Special effects are the sounds that accompany the movie, while special visual effects are the clarity of movie acted on a daytime in rocky plains and hills. Since the theme of crime is dominant, sex and violence intermittently happen throughout the movie.


In comparison to In Bruges (2008), Snatch (2000), and RocknRolla (2008), the comedy portrays historical events accurately, particularly the ones that have happened in Los Angeles and Mexico. The interesting quotes are “an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind” and “friends do not make their friends die” (Dargis par. 6). Hence, these quotes reflect the facts of a peaceful society where people coexist.


The theme of crime is dominant as most characters perpetrate it or become victims of it. Constant conflicts, confrontations, and bloody gunshots, which lead to the injuries or deaths of most characters, are common among drug criminals in real life situation. The theme of revenge is also common in the comedy because Zachariah promises to shoot Marty on Tuesday. Therefore, is it true that Zachariah will fulfil his promise by killing Marty on Tuesday?

Works Cited

Dargis, Manohla. “.” The New York Times. 2012.

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