Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Kill List - Not A Review

I’m not easily impressed.

But when you watch the climax of Kill List, with your mouth wide open, these three things will assuredly happen:

a) You’ll scream ‘that didn’t make any sense!’ and light a cigarette to wipe the bewildered expression off your face. “What an illogical end to a brilliant film” you’ll mumble, as you scratch your beard in frustration.

Then,

b) You’ll spend the next ten minutes hitting rewind, piecing the film, its characters, their reactions and their motivations together, and then feel the light dawning inside your skull. You will find yourself short of breath, in complete awe of the sheer genius.

And finally,

c) You’ll then spend the next fifteen minutes desperately calling all your friends, frothing your mouth with excitement asking them to watch this movie.

With Kill List, director Ben Wheatley has sculpted an absolutely mesmerizing and creepy crime thriller. The film follows a contract killer named Jay (Neil Maskell) who is talked into a new job by his friend eight months after botching up a murder in Kiev. The two meet their shady, wealthy client and are handed a ‘kill list’ of their targets. But something isn’t quite right. As they begin disposing their victims Jay finds himself slipping into violent mood swings, indulging in brutally executing people outside the list. A David Lynchian turn arrives as our hero slips into terrifying unpredictable circumstances, leading to an alarming climax.

Interestingly, Kill List is peppered with black comedy, and its meld with gangster-drama, socio-realist banter, Lynchian hallucinogenic plotting and body horror renders mixed signals to the audience - the effect is delectably unnerving. The dark humour only adds to the disconcerting atmosphere in the film. And what an atmosphere it is. A sinister plain vanilla palette, stripped off soul, blended with electronic sounds and unreliable characters. The performances are as terrific as the editing. Best of all, Wheatley challenges your intellect and devilishly avoids spoonfed exposition, and invites you to watch it again.

If you’re still unconvinced, just watch the trailer below.


And if the trailer doesn't do it for you, here's Peter Bradshaw's review.

61 comments:

  1. guess what.....just ahead of the tunnel scene....i was all into the movie and a fucking dog cried loudly outside my home...and fuckin hell, my heart was in my mouth!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. haha! Glad that didn't happen to me.

    ReplyDelete
  3. WARNING : If you are weak at heart, keep a mushy mushy sweet lil movie to see after it..bcoz it will leave u terrified

    ReplyDelete
  4. I know its of different genre but

    Is the plotline/content similar to yellow sea??
    because oddly i didn't like/understand yellow sea ...

    ReplyDelete
  5. "A violent hit man murdered his wife and child."

    Wait. What happened in Kiev ?

    No. Did he want to join the cult ? Or the cult wanted Jay to die because of his past ?

    When Fiona made the symbol on the back of the mirror - in the HR term, does it mean that he has been recruited by the cult ?

    The priest smiled at him. The Librarian thanked him. The MP's arms were wide open before he got shot. So they were all expecting him.

    But why the f* did Shel laugh at the end ?

    Was it all real...or just a dream (he's seen taking pills) ?

    ReplyDelete
  6. the performances did keep me interested despite the narrative that kept jumping from one genre to another. the restaurant scene was a riot! Even impressed wit the third act, when they finally decided to live up to its tag of being 'the best horror flick' out of UK
    But the ending was pretty lame, and did not work for me. It stuck out like a sore thumb, and was forced with absolutely no conviction.

    ReplyDelete
  7. *VERY HEAVY SPOILERS* - Do NOT read this if you haven't seen the movie.

    *VERY HEAVY SPOILERS* It isn't clear what happened in Kiev, all we know is that Jay is disturbed by the botched hit in Kiev. He hasn't worked in 8 months because he has been depressed post that incident.

    It is possible that the cult wanted to take revenge because they were connected to the target in Kiev. But well it's an abusive murderous satanic cult, they can do anything. They wanted him to suffer - either by dying, or by killing his family.

    Yes the symbol was the cult's way of 'marking' their target.

    *VERY HEAVY SPOILERS* Shel laughed out of shock. It was an ironic laugh. She couldn't believe that Jay just killed his most beloved - their son. It was all real.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Saw this film earlier today. Was completely blown by it. Then thought of posting something about it coz it was kinda stuck in my head. Then logged on twitter and saw this post. Bull's eye buddy !! Those points a) , b) and c) are exactly how one feels after watching the climax. This is essentially what films are meant to do: Give you the kicks !! A Must-must watch !!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Watch it again, you'll realize that the ending was incredible.

    ReplyDelete
  10. What the fuck did I just see? What the fuck did I just see?

    Yes, it's probably one of the bestest films of the year. Forgive me Mr. Fadnavis for letting the thought cross my mind, this afternoon, that this might just be one of those abstract, surreal movies. Turns out, I was so fucking wrong.

    As somebody has already pointed out, the restaurant scene was truly a laugh-out-loud one. And by the time the climax had arrived, I was trying to look at the tangent above my head. I did not need to rewind but it did take me some time to piece it up together.

    Thanks again for the push. Glad I saw it.

    P.S. And yes, somebody has also pointed out the similarity with 'Yellow Sea'. I think, that similarity would be between what one feels after watching these two movies - an urge to decipher what just happened.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Glad you liked it, Gyandeep. Welcome to the Kill List cult.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Indeed, this one did kick me in the skull :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. The lady had marked the target, that is where it all began,

    I think the three people whom the duo killed were a part of the satanic cult as towards the end we see a man in white ready to die with open arms,

    I strongly feel it had no relation to the Kiev incident and was just the cult's way of harnessing them much like the Wicker Man concept,

    But I have a funny feeling that could Shell be a part of this right from the very beginning as well.....

    ReplyDelete
  14. Yes of course - everyone in the Kill List was part of the cult. That's why they are all thankful when they are being killed.

    Shell was not part of the cult, because she spends ten minutes shooting the cult members who attack her towards the end.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Mr Fadanavis just help me out here. I saw kill list just now and i was shattered with my eyes wide open after seeing the movie. But i was completely flummoxed by the climax. why did shel laugh at the very end? what was that symbol? What happened in kiev and what's its relation with the climax? Why was everyone thanking before dying? I will be glad if u shed some light on my queries. I am totally confused.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Bourne, just scroll a little to the bottom and check my reply to Saheer Iqbal. It contains the explanation to all your queries.

    ReplyDelete
  17. OK. my a) reaction was: tohri maai ko raavan choday Mihirwa!!! Fuck!!! I have an exam tomorrow and I watched it coz you pimped it so hard. but after a while everything happened the same way as you have described above. Mind boggling movie. Wonderful recco

    ReplyDelete
  18. Indeed indeed.........

    It all makes sense now. A gut-wrenching movie.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I have a feeling that Shel too was a part of this 'suicide' undertaking. Shel and Fiona turn out to be good friends, much to the surprise of Jay and Gal.

    PS: What was the significance of the story he told his son ?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Nah, Shel wasn't part of it. Fiona befriends Shel because Fiona is part of the cult and is following the plan to get Shell and Jay together for the 'end'.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Glad you liked it, and hope your exam went well :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. There is a potential problem with this logic. At the mansion where they kill the MP, all the cult members pounce on them, in what appears an attempt to finish both of them off. He just manages to escape. So, not sure if the final sequence to kill Shel off was planned beforehand.
    Also, it was supposed to be a safe house. So was he followed? Which brings up one interesting sequence - if i remember correct, his partner asks him where his wife and kids were and he says they have gone off. And he twitches his eyebrows and says that he does not remember any such plan being there in the first place.
    Anyways, liked the movie.. But unsure if it is worth that big a reco that you were giving!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Yeah dude. Got it now. It all lies somewhere in the movie you just have to put all the pieces together. One more thing I liked about the movie is that it starts as a typical family drama and slowly transforms into an exhilarating, gripping, jaw dropping and finally a head scratching thriller. Undoubtedly One of the best thrillers of 2011. Thanks for the recco man. Now looking forward to your reviews and opinions on Hugo and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

    ReplyDelete
  24. What a brilliant film! Thank you so much for recommending this film. Absolutely mind-blowing. Bloody good fun. Yes, the climax makes so much sense when you think over it although it initially has you flummoxed. Indeed, a very compelling watch.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Glad you liked it, don! Do pass it on to your pals.

    ReplyDelete
  26. The climax is definitely horrifying, but overall the first 50 minutes is bleak. If not for the dialogs, the first 50 minutes ~ highly intolerable. But they keep adding suspense and when the plot gets thicker, the pace picks up. But definitely the climax rivets your mind for few moments. Weird concept. :D

    ReplyDelete
  27. A completely worth movie. The action scenes are awesome and the last 15 minutes are amazing.

    When it ends though, I started putting pieces together and its all symbolic for me..

    To me the satanic cult was some big shot corporate organization somehow managing but struck hard by the recession of 2008.

    Jay was the manager assigned to do the dirty job of finding reasons and handing over the pink slips. He hands them over one by one and becomes mentally disturbed in the process. He does not agree with the methods but needs the money to manage his high maintainence life

    By the end of the movie he realises he had to loose everything he held dear to finally get applauded by the board of directors.

    The only character in who is real and not symbolic is the lady Fiona. Who indeed is a Human Resource manager and is in confidence with the board of directors that Jay himself could be one of the liabilities and his performance is under scrutiny always.

    ReplyDelete
  28. What started as a low-budget, seemingly average contract killers movie descended into epic mind-screwdom in the last 15 mins.
    WHOA!
    WTF was that? Riddled with subtleties and a creepiness never felt for many years, this is just damned intelligent film-making. After the first watch, it seemed like a cross-over between 'A Serbian Film' and 'The Wicker Man', but there is definitely more to it.
    What I have understood (and not understood) is-

    *Spoilers*

    #1 Fiona, a member of the cult, marked the family on the hit list (the reason is not clear, most likely punishment for the botched up operation in Kiev?) when she made that mark behind the mirror.

    #2 The Priest and the other people killed, most probably knew what lay in store for them. The Doctor too was a part of the cult. Didn't understand the bit about the Kiev file and other incriminatory stuff found at the different murder locations, were they signs of the things to come? Were the people included in the Kill List themselves guilty of some past screw-ups?

    #3 The rabbit, cat murders were committed by Fiona(?) or other members of the cult.

    #4 Several members of the cult were killed by Jay and his friend and the first one(just after that girl hanged herself) was quite willing to die. WTF was that about?

    #4 What did the cut in the palm signify? Jay's induction into the cult?

    #5 Didn't understand the role of Shel. She obviously knew that Jay was a contract killer but she, like Jay, was ignorant of that fucked up pagan cult. And in the end, the cult fooled Jay into murdering his own wife and kid. But why the hell did she laugh? At the shock and stunning revelation that it was her husband who had just killed her and the kid? And Jay just stood there with disbelief..I bet he would have effin' sliced each and every member of the cult after that!

    Anyways, the head is still fuzzy. I request you to please write a complete, detailed analysis of the movie sometime soon!

    ReplyDelete
  29. *SPOILERS* That's a brilliant observation, Abhishek. The best interpretation of the film that I've come across. Yes, the whole satanic cult-willing deaths-hitman plot does seem to be a metaphor for his dirty job of handing out pink slips.

    ReplyDelete
  30. *HEAVY SPOILERS*

    #1 - Kiev may or may not be the reason. But Jay was chosen by the cult. (Check Abhishek's interpretation below)

    #2 - As you noticed in the fire execution scene, the torched victims were thankful for their deaths. They were willing to die. Everyone on the Kill List was part of the cult. Which is why Jay's targets thanked him when he killed them.

    #3 - By Fiona, most certainly, because she had begun frequenting their house and had gotten friendly with Shel.

    #4 - It was a blood oath, which sealed Jay's association with the cult. (Again, check Abhishek's different interpretation of the same)

    #5 - Shel didn't know about the cult. Scroll to the bottom and check my reply to Saheer Iqbal on the same topic.

    ReplyDelete
  31. *Spoilers*

    Well if I interpret the rabbit and the cat murders, I would say they were the hate and threat mails Jay was getting for the dirty job he was doing.

    How mnay of the you bloggers wake up in the morning and see the first mail is somebody hurling abuses to you for what you write online? Something similar was happening with Jay for the job he was doing.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Just because a movie's final act takes a different turn, what many of you define as "horror", doesn't make it brilliant. It's a good thriller. Masterpiece? No.

    As another user pointed it out, it's a mix of 'A Serbian Film' & 'The Wicker Man'.
    I expected to be scared & shocked. Neither happened, as soon as Fiona makes that sign at Jay's house - you know something weird is going on from there on.

    I can name three movies here that will actually f*ck your mind & you'll be left dissecting it's plot for days.

    1. Martyrs
    2. Shaitan (Not the AK one)
    3. Inside

    As Mr. Fadnavis said "socio-realist banter, Lynchian hallucinogenic plot points and body horror renders mixed signals to the audience - the effect is delectably unnerving. The dark humour only adds to the disconcerting atmosphere in the film. " The above three films have all that, in greater doses. Watch it, if not, I'll take my words back.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Shaitan is not an AK movie, it is a Bejoy Nambiar film. Not sure how Inside and Martyrs are as you say 'mindfuck' movies. I liked them both, but they aren't exactly open ended or for discussion. The twist in Martyrs is literally fed to you in loud sentences by the antagonists. It doesn't give you any room for interpretation or dissection the way Kill List does.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Wasn't it produced by AK? Anyway, that's not point. I've never said that Martyrs had dark humor. I pointed out that the 3 films have the characteristics you mentioned about Kill List, one more than the other. At least you agree with the shock value of it. Gore? Yes, but not a mindless gore fest as "Hostel" & other similar torture porn nonsense Hollywood churned out. The whole "twist being fed to you", I would gladly read your interpretation whenever you have the time to put it down. Regarding the atmosphere, creepiness etc. Both Inside & Shaitan are on another level. In fact, if you want to see surreal horror mixed with dark humor check out The Ordeal. Absolutely a notch above KL in those aspects. I don't say Kill List is bad, it's a decent thriller. Just seems like you are over-patronizing it when there are far better products for all the qualities you praised about it for.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Just because there are better movies doesn't mean I shouldn't endorse a certain film, ainnt? It is one of the best films of the year, and it deserves to be watched. There's nothing wrong with pimping good movies, is there?

    ReplyDelete
  36. This is a stunning film, genuinely scary and the final 15 minutes was like WTF!! Thank for recommendation again.

    ReplyDelete
  37. You didn't get me. Nothing wrong with endorsing a 'deserving' film, & you opening a discussion on your blog isn't wrong either. But shoving the word "brilliant" or "genius" about a film not deserving is simply giving undue credit. At least on the basis of being a film critic, I imagine you'd take a more balanced approach. After that intriguing & brilliant first 75 mins, the piece becomes annoyingly contrived & obscure during the last 15, just when you think the intelligent start would deliver on its promise. As one critic aptly wrote about Kill List: "There’s a thin line between intelligent ambiguity and unintelligible pretentiousness, and these film-makers seem to have snorted it." Anyway, that'll be the end of this debate. Generally, I agree with your every review, barring this one. :)

    P.S. It will be nice if you RT the negative criticisms as well. Not just people going ga-ga about your recco. It will given a fair chance for a debate.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Now that is stupid. Why should he rt negative criticisms? If someone reccos a movie will he endorse negative criticism? YOU don't think the movie is brilliant. But he does and so do a majority of people. To borrow from what Mihir said earlier, just because YOU didn't like it doesn't mean he shouldn't put the words 'brilliant' in his review.

    ReplyDelete
  39. The Brits are brilliant filmmakers.
    We would've seen a lot of other thriller/horror films that have managed to incorporate a sinister mood into the film, but this one is in a different league.
    In fact, the unpredictability of this movie is what makes it a classic in its own right.

    The 'mindfuck' screenplay and ending apart, the characterization was immaculate to say the least. The rage of the lead character was brilliantly depicted and the gore was, well, perfect.

    I can't seem to thank you enough for the recommendation without which a movie of such brilliance would've definitely missed my eyes.

    P.S : Also happened to notice that the morons who write reviews on IMDb have rated this 6.4 on 10. God bless them.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Well put, Krish. The characters were indeed very solid, and they mattered more than the mindfuckery and shock value. Glad you enjoyed the film.

    ReplyDelete
  41. An awesome movie. It puts you in a daze and at the end of it all you really start wondering what those little scenes you really should have thought would be important in some way were missed by you, and you go back and check them again.

    The Rabbit flesh in the backyard and the cat kill were some scenes that put me to thinking and may actually make me a little more inclined towards believing a possible hypothesis put forth by Abhishek below.

    Definitely up there in the top 10 of 2011 by me. Don't bother trolls, good recco mate!

    ReplyDelete
  42. *HEAVY SPOILERS*

    A second viewing of the film gives more credence to the dream theory proposed by Saheer Iqbal below. Here are a few observations.

    # 1 - I was watching the sword fighting scene between Shel, Sam and Jay and I went, "Where have I seen this before?". This bit is exactly like the final scene with Sam on Shel's back and Jay winning in the end.

    # 2 - The pills Jay is taking has to mean something. He is also told to 'Wake Up!' a number of times in the movie.

    # 3 - The movie is presented in bits and pieces, not giving everything away. Much like a dream where you really don't remember the finer details.

    I guess I'll leave it at that. It certainly doesn't explain everything. This movie can mean different things to different people and although this movie is not complete without a little bit of discussion, too much of it may ruin it for you.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Indeed, it's a great movie for post-coital dissection.

    ReplyDelete
  44. 1. Because movies cater to two sets of an audience - ones who like it & the ones who don't. So a dissection requires feedback from both sides.
    2. To fulfill the point of a discussion that I thought was going on here.
    3. Because he isn't part of the film or it's marketing team, so he's not liable to praise a film without knowing it's rights or wrongs.
    4.Neither is he Taran Adarsh.

    Were those reasons enough for you Mr. Mihir Fadnavis Fan club member?

    I genuinely like his reviews, so I stirred this topic. Not to degrade his liking of choice.

    ReplyDelete
  45. *Spoilers Ahead*
    Now there are certain things, it becomes strange for me, while I take them, the 1st one, he is killed smoothly, he is a priest, point of conflict for Gal, not for Jay, 2nd one is done brutally, Jay gets furious, when someone says thanks, irony, when his hand is cut and while washing his hand he says, 'no one says thanks', even the first one, as soon as he says 'thanks' he is shot, let alone the guys on the list, when Gal says thanks he is shot!!! Last Scene, both Jay and Shel are forced into a disturbing knife fight!!! Now let me try and connect all of it, Jay was a killer, all of us know that, Violent man, Gal, same boat, now killed No. 1 a priest, someone from religion, someone who is non-violent 2. the librarian, he wasn't the one who was violent 3. the MP, he did not kill anyone, the girl volunteered to die, another non-violent guy, last one, Sam was killed, an innocent kid!!! It becomes all the more complicated as I am writing it, the cult made up of people who became non-violent, it started with Fiona visiting them, The HR personnel, well the HR lady is also the one who hires, isnt it?? The Killed ones, all of them are usually those who do good things for money, Priest, Librarian, MP....... Uh..... Shel..... as well may be?!?! so may be the whole film is the journey of the man from getting rid of his loss of humanity and moving towards righteous understanding through sacrifice, may be christians can explain it in a better way if it is, in someway related to Crucifcation??? that's not clear, where people giving up their lives for the greater good??? Since the very beginning it is shown that Jay is disturbed with whatever happend at Kiev was wrong... he was disturbed by it. but that Thanks was still unclear, of course for the people dying it meant they are gettng rid of sins.... but I am not sure what was up with 'Thanks' and Jay. While I think Shel was laughing because I think it personifies 'Hahh, you got rid of the Evil Jay?? Are you sure???' And that's the reason love this picture, though it represents a violent way of getting rid of pleasures, how can you be sure of it??? How does one say he is pure without anything that woould make him happy??? This picture I think questions the very reasoning of faith in God and search for happiness..... while saying by getting rid of worldly pleasures you reach heaven or you reach closer to god how do you say it guarantees heaven?? where is the proof of it??? and the last scene says, I feel, "Did you just make a hell of your life by accepting the search for redemption"???

    ReplyDelete
  46. Bada sexy interpretation hai yaar....... Which does allow me to consider, Lady Fiona found her own replacement and got rid of the Job?? May Be ;) :P :P Taking this retrospective my whole Outlook of the film changed!!!!! Strange but awesome!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Tohri maai ko raavan choday mihirwa..hahaha
    Very confusing movi indeed...surely kievs mysterious incident was responsible for all the mess caused

    ReplyDelete
  48. Not exactly sure what your interpretation was, but yeah the movie is great for dissection. Glad you liked it.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Basically My interpretation is, that the film questions the definition of faith and happiness, A man who doesn't really believe in God, Based on his own experience leaves the life of a criminal, accepting that terrbile murderous task back under pressure of surroundings challenges whatever he is doing, is it right or wrong, to complete his task he has to sacrifice everything, even people give up their own lives for him to understand the right.... but does that taking and giving life, of one self or some one else's..... is it right?? does sacrifice is what god understands so that he grants what people ask for or is it just that people accepting death just like that (feeling they are blessed) and people feeding on violence doesnt lead anywhere but a disaster??? I think the film asks all these questions from the audience while documenting the horrifying brutality of people choosing this path and putting up in a plot and telling it in an engrossing way!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  50. I saw the film and had a complete WTF moment. The film builds upon you and then has a brilliant climax. One time watch definitely. Thanks for the recco....

    ReplyDelete
  51. Mihir, its time u giv ur interpretation..

    ReplyDelete
  52. Hello everyone, i'm from Portugal, and i also came here trying to find answers to the WTF just happened??? at the end of the movie. I love this kind of movie wich makes you think and wonder about all the questions it leaves open! There’s a lot of theories around that i find interesting, like the possibility that he was dreaming a lot of it ( the director even reffered that he got inspired to do some scenes by nightmares he had as a child). During the movie a lot of scenes have a very dreamlike sensation... specially the last 15 min, where it turns into an horriffic nightmare, and the abrupt ending may just mean the end of this crazy dream, based on a lot of events that were happening in Jay's already very stressfull live! The words "Wake Up... Wake Up...Wake Up..." are heard several times and that may also be a suggestion of what's going on! Also the suicide cult is a plausible theory. But i think that whatever we’re missing as to do with something we have no clue about, and that’s “What happened in Kiev”!!! Something BIG happened there wich made a big impact on Jay! From any perspective you approach the movie, those events were the trigger of it all. If you take the cult's storyline , you realise that the guy who signed the blood contract with Jay (same guy from the cult), knew about these events in Kiev!!! He even tells Jay: “We know about Kiev!” So Jay got involved with something probably very horrible, and this guys were involved as well, and they have been tracking him since then, so they probably found something “special” about him and they start a plan to draw Jay to them, sending Fiona to meet Cal, and pretend to have a relantionship with him, and tell him about the “job” for wich he'll need a partner. This way he then brings her into Jay’s house, so she personally meets him, does the witchcraft thing and gets their plan in motion! At the end of the movie Jay is as lost by what’s happened as we are! He’s surely been manipulated into this, but it’s also in his nature to be like this! I think with the impact this movie is making, the director could make a prequel with the mysterious events of Kiev, possibly tying the loose ends and giving us some disclosure on the big picture behind the cult’s intentions… or giving us hints that Jay was in such a degraded mental state by what happened there, that this could all be his imagination fucking with him...

    ReplyDelete
  53. completely blown off by this movie and the tunnel scene made my heart beats twice as fast as it should, thnks for telling about this one...will watch pandoram very soon!!

    ReplyDelete
  54. you think it's a good movie, you really ought to seek out help. Anyone who agrees with you should join a similar cult and run through tunnels naked while being Shot. To have any desire to analyse this mental vomit, suggests a lack any true happiness in your life.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Liked the film a lot. Definitly needs a second viewing.
    And here's another explanation
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1788391/board/flat/193150980?p=1

    ReplyDelete
  56. Using the their jobs as metaphor for the iraq war and the justification of violence one engages in despite it not being their motivation, rather money or righteousness or something other that justified or even sociopathic reasons could get us to what the intention from the writers were. So, many Iraq war references.

    They take orders. They are 'cogs', they commit and cannot stop of their own choosing, thereby leading to their destruction, morally, mentally, physically through death of self or death of their identity as happens when he finally does the fourth and final "job".

    How we engage in violence, why and how we try to justify it.

    There was a slow progression of violence and intrusion into the lives of the killed. At work for the first, at home for the next and only cuz his abhorant behavior. But by the end they are the intruders and yet he cant', despite his friend's urging, help himself but intercede, even though, as was pointed out, she voluteered to hang herself.

    They deserve it at the beginning, but even the arguably justified 2nd killing he is at another level of torture. And the third never happens because he is so disgusted by their seemingly abhorant religious practices.

    It could be a simple comment on how we justify violence and attempt to control it in ritual and war.

    I am particularly interested in the Librarian and his talk with Jay. Is Jay a character from myth that we should be aware of?

    The Kiev thing could have been a connection to Shel. Was she speaking Russian? Or was she from Sweden? Maybe she got Jay into the killing biz, she was good at with the gun.

    The cult could be institutions (govt, business) that use people for their own ends, as Fiona states, "There's a bigger picture in the business world."

    Social commentary is really heavy and played with uncomfortable humor.

    I like Jay's inability to adjust to non-violent life. It's messed him up something awful.

    Great movie. Have very, very seldom began watching a movie right after seeing it.

    Very nice blog, btw.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Fiona's job is to prune unnecessary individuals. They want Jay, from the beginning. So many possibilities for misdirection, but definitely deliberate and not intended to be open ended. There is a real allegory or literal presentation. Either way. Great!

    Sorry, just saw it.

    ReplyDelete
  58. good review. the dream does make sense. Its absurdities and editing and reoccurring themes seem to point to that. ????

    http://londonfilmfanatiq.com/2011/09/04/discussion-what-really-happens-in-kill-list-spoilers/

    ReplyDelete