Friday, November 8, 2013
The Counselor by Cormac McCarthy
VIOLENCE: FACE IT. EMBRACE IT. That's the motto of the work of Cormac McCarthy, and it makes an appearance in the screenplay "The Counselor," too. The movie and book format script is mostly about greed, drugs, sex and its unfortunate ties to violence, with a chance for the author to play David Mamet and even Woody Allen with dialogue. In keeping with his perchant for introducing bizarre new murder weapons, like the pneumatic cattle gun in "No Country for Old Men," this time it's a garrote device---a handy cable and motor you slip over your victim's head and walk away, there being no way for him to escape his fate since the cable will retract automatically into a spool, slowly decapitating him. Of course you can't use the thing twice unless you manage to clear all the gawkers (rubber necks) and clean off the blood. Since McCarthy's last little dialogue in the screenplay seems to sum up his own recurrent theme of man being a greedy, violent monster behind a fancy veneer of respectability and stylish clothes, (and that we need to accept killing because not to do so means even more killing.) You get what you wish for.