Tiny Couch Review

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

  • LeratoEnchanted
    Grandmaster Critic

    177 posts
    Signed up the 28/03/2017

    On 06/01/2018 at 09:12 Quote this message


    Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri is the black comedy-drama we all deserved in the year 2017, where the general film landscape was confusing and lacked genre. The movie sees Francis Dormand as a bitter mother, Mildred Hayes, seeking justice for her adolescent daughter who was molested and killed.

    The film is a melancholic slow-burn. It is unpredictable and funny. Director Martin McDonagh handles both the grief and the comedy with such poised capability. Hoody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell and the movie's lead, McDormand make career statements so much that their respective roles will be etched into the back of our minds for a pretty long time.


    There are several pretexts throughout the film where characters make way for their crude, insensible behavior, which not only gives weight to the film's comedic aspects but provides introspection on human behaviour. Humans are impulsive and self-serving. This is why the police were able to let dust set on a young girl's barbarous murder's case file.

    The emotion depicted in this film is raw and uncensored, which proved to be both refreshing and unsettling—as the people's actions were so erratic and culpable. Someone could go from roaring laughter to crying their eye-balls out. The character's personalities are refreshingly unpredictable as well. Mildred is bitter and scary. Rockwell's Dixon is a blonde jittery bull. Harrelson's Willoughby is a wisecracker who's filled with banter as much as he is filled compassion and the foresighted and proficiency, though he is at times purported.


    The comedy never waters down the genuine sorrow the characters go through, just the same way a bit of salt would enhance the sweetness in sugar. The writer works well with the director and cinematographer to bring through the same inadequacies that the characters feel to the visuals. The camera is precise in its ambivalence. The site shots are either too far or too close, and somewhat always have a slant to them. The camera is hesistant to juxtapose the character against the environment they're in that moment, which makes audience both assess the person in question and the setting. I thought it to be a brilliant way to say: we can never be sure of anything, we can never let our guard down, thus we're never safe.


    The film serves as a parable on life. Sometimes things won't go the way we expect them to. People will commit the most heinous crimes and simply get away with them. Some will be served the portion of others who are more deserving, no matter how good or bad they've been in their lifetime. Life is unjust, and there's no A or B we can do about it to make it any better—or at least it's way too late to try. But we can always try to better our own selves, just for ourselves and nothing else. We can choose to forgive instead of holding on to hate. We can choose to move on. We can even choose happiness—be optimistic, and try to embrace the positives as much as we've let the the negatives fester around us.

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