As some of you might remember, this was not my first choice for blindspotting this month. I fully intended to watch the Three Colours trilogy but time is an awful thing – it runs out! So when I realised I had a busy weekend ahead, and only 2 days to watch three movies, I almost gave up. But as you can see, giving up means just going ahead and knocking off a pick from next month.
When I started watching Natural Born Killers (1994), I had no idea what I was getting myself into. This movie is like a crime documentary on drugs. It’s a little crazy from start to finish. To be completely honest, I wasn’t in a mood for such craziness. Or at least, the craziness directly related to the style of cinematography and the way of story telling.
Natural Born Killers is a movie about two very disturbed people finding each other, falling in love and going on a killing spree. Portrayed extremely well by Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis, the characters are bold, wacky and completely mental. They fit the style of the movie well and there’s no fault in their presence on screen to be found. They stand out, both equally and together, adding a flare of crazy to the whole movie.
Shit, man, I’m a natural born killer.
What started to bother me by the middle was the uncharacteristic story telling. It could be because I wasn’t feeling that well that day, or maybe I just expected a more… polished movie. A crime drama with a hint of dark comedy, which Natural Born Killers sort of is, but a whole lot of more styles thrown in. There are bits that are black and white, there are dramatic retellings, there is a flashback of an abusive father set in front of a sitcom audience. Which is just weird.
It works, don’t get me wrong, in a weird way it all meshes into one movie and I don’t expect it to apologise for its craziness. All of it is fine, and I have no doubt in my mind I would love this film in another setting. But this was not the right time for me to enjoy such a film. In other words, Natural Born Killers is a very specific movie that demands a certain state of mind from the viewer.
Oliver Stone who directed Natural Born Killers had quite the career before it. Afterwards, he sort of lost it. I’m reminding you here that he is the guy who directed Alexander. I’ll let that sink in for a minute.
In a way his career is reflected in Natural Born Killers. It’s a little all over the place and it’s a bit disappointing because you could almost see where it wanted to go. I do think Harrelson and Lewis carry the film exceptionally well, which is why this movie stands out. But in terms of directing the story itself, man, I wish there was a bit more coherence.