Charlie Countryman (2013)… love, violence, violence, violence, love….?!


Charlie Countryman

My rating: 6

IMDB rating: 6.4

IMDB link:

Dearest reader,

I usually try my best not to read any reviews on a movie before watching it, but when I got this film I could not understand why I have not heard anything about it. It has some big (mostly upcoming) names playing the leads and the extended title, The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman, is quite intriguing. But what I saw was that critics were tearing this movie apart, for different reasons, so it could be that I went into this film not as objectively as I maybe should have…

The problem with this movie, is the fact that it just can’t seem to pick a genre. I have no idea if this was meant to be a love story, coming-of-age film, crime drama, or a coming-to-terms-with-the-death-of-a-loved-one type of drama… And it did not breach the confines of these genres in a way that makes you want to explore this newly formed genre. It just leaves you irritated with the director or writer for not picking something and sticking to it.

In this sense the film is so over-crowded with sub-plots, that together with the over-crowded setting of Bucharest, that it just leaves you feeling disconnected to both the space and the plot. The shots of Bucharest is amazing, don’t get me wrong, and there is a certain amount of romanticism applied to the filming of the city, its vibe and its people, but together with the over-stuffed storyline, it just is a disaster!

In previous posts I have talked a lot about violence; its necessity, our desensitization to it and its modern romantic portrayal. Instances, like this movie, where extreme violence is romanticized, truly disgusts me. The plot had no need for this extent of violence, and oddly enough the intimate scenes are cut short while these violent scenes are emphasised- again, it just shows the absolute chaos that prevents this film from sticking to a genre.

What saved this film, for me, is Mads Mikkelsen. I love this guy, in my eyes he can do no wrong. He is the perfect mix between violent oppressor and the obsessed lover. And, of course, he is devastatingly handsome! If you have not yet seen him in Hannibal, the series, do yourself a favour and see what happens when brilliant actors and even more brilliant writers decide to make a series.

Want to read more on Charlie Countryman? Try these:

A story of drugs, love and crime: Charlie Countryman.

Film Review: The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman (2013) ★★.

Bad deathbed advice, indeed!

Charlie Countryman Movie Review, Roger Ebert

Ebiri on Charlie Countryman


One thought on “Charlie Countryman (2013)… love, violence, violence, violence, love….?!

  1. I actually don’t think the vagueness of genre is a bad thing. Movies can be intriguing that way. But with Countrymen, maybe it was just because none of the supposed genres really worked as well as they could have that it felt like it needed to focus on one.

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