Carnage: directed by Roman Polanski; written by Roman Polanski and Yasmina Reza
If you have any interest in Literary Theory you’d know that a slew of Classical, Neoclassical and even the Romantic Theorists were all over the importance of the didactic nature of art. Its purpose is not just to entertain but to teach and Roman Polanski’s Carnage adapted from Yasmina Reza’s Tony winning play is in strident contradistinction to Plato’s desire for art with a specific instructive purpose. It’s something of a chamber room drama as four couples gather in a living room to discuss the affairs of their sparring sons. One son has attacked, no hit, okay injured the other and lost him some teeth. Both couples are existing on somewhat divergent planes. The mother of the plaintiff is vaguely sanctimonious, his father vaguely apologetic. The mother of the defendant fairly embarrassed, and the father palpably disinterested in it all. It’s somewhat uncertain as to what they hope to accomplish from the meeting and there is a striking discomfort with which the entire spectacle is imbued with. And, it’s this mood of the script which Polanski’s invasive direction takes full advantage of.