Like most of the movies, directed by Roman Polanski, 'Carnage' is also a reflection of the master's deft touch in creating the appropriate atmosphere in a movie. Be that 'On the edge of the seat', holding-your-breath moments in 'Chinatown' or the brutality of the Nazis in 'The Pianist', Polanski always gets his audience involved in the proceedings or experiences that the characters of the movie goes through. 'Carnage' does not disappoint in that case either.
The entire movie revolves around two married couples and their discussion that goes haywire, following an altercation between their respective sons, in a posh apartment. The Longstreets, played by Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly host the Cowans (Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz). What at first seems to be a humble dilation, gradually turns out to be, as the name suggests, a warfare of words and views.
Apart from the scenes where credits roll, the entire movie is set on, from what we get from a follow shot, a rich apartment. Credits to Polanski and Yasmina Reza, whose play 'God of Carnage' was adapted to make this movie, that the audience is always engaged. Though the movie starts off with the parents, wanting to mitigate (a little reluctantly maybe) the issue of their sons; it slowly but deftly moves into contrary outlooks of each character. Marriage problems, some universal issues and virile issues: the couples talk and argue about all of these against and between one another. If 'John Wayne kinda manhood' forms an alliance of the husbands then the wives also make an alliance.
Performance of the actors keep the essence of the movie perfectly. For a portrayal of husband and wife both pairs of actors are very much in tune with one another. Christoph Waltz is very appropriate as the workaholic lawyer. John C. Reilly is excellent. His character, Michael is the one who seemed the most calm and seeker of peace at first, but later he gave in to the arguments and became argumentative and bent out of shape. Reilly portrayed all those emotions deftly. The actresses were brilliant especially Jodie Foster with her jives under the layer of subtlety.
This movie really questions whether we are superficial in order to become sociable and civilised, like Michael said 'I am not being aggressive, I am being honest.' Overall this movie is an ambit of emotions that one should definitely love.