Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – One word “Terrific”
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri is a film that puts you on your seat with your chin resting upon your hands making you wonder what lies under the layers of the story. It is nail-biting and rib-tickling at the same time with its dark humor that is outrageous, honest and on your face making your experience of watching a thriller in the all new way. You hoot, you clap, you laugh and you go still too; all in the same film.
The writer director Martin McDonagh does a brilliant job reviving a simple story into a great jaw dropping experience with its stellar performances of the cast. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is led by Frances McDormand who plays Mildred Hayes who is grieving the rape and murder of her daughter. Its been over 6 months and there is no progress on the investigation. One fine day, on her way back home, she comes across three abandoned billboards closer to her house and comes up with an idea that creates waves in Ebbing. The billboards are set in sequence “RAPED WHILE DYING”, “AND STILL NO ARRESTS?”, and “HOW COME, CHIEF WILLOUGHBY? Chief Willoughby is respected chief in Ebbing and is suffering from a terminal disease and whole of Ebbing knows this. The billboards create quite a stir upsetting people including his depressed son. Mildred is immovable on her stand and succeeds to create the right stir. Sam Rockwell who plays Jason Dixon the cop in charge is brilliant in his act and surprises you with his love of reading comics at police station. Willoughby played by woody Harrelson is believable in his act, his helplessness to execute Mildred’s case, his sympathy, his three letters changes the roles of the characters on display moving the story ahead.
Meanwhile, there is also a priest from the local church who happens to visit Mildred over tea, trying to keep his viewpoint over the three billboards. The way Mildred gives him back is something to witness and applaud. The theatre thundered with claps; Mildred redefines culpable. The writing is commendable. Power of cinema provokes your thought process.
Mildred’s family is as broken as it could be; her husband is in a live-in relationship with a 19year old girl who comes as a silly humor whenever she comes on screen bringing in the right wit. His son is depressed with the incident that shattered the family. Their flashback conversations are disturbing and hilarious both at the same time. A daughter is cursed by the mother in the heat of anger; back-answering and this is the power of subconscious mind that makes the subconscious thought live into the conscious action and her girl is raped and murdered. Thankfully, the director doesn’t show it onscreen but with what he executes on screen; he succeeds to hallucinate and makes you see what must have happened. Mildred’s performance makes you believe in the story; Mc Donagh’s story has a soul, each character shines. Dixon surprises with his act and the little dwarf gets real serious with his date. The emotions shame, hate, anger, revenge are on display questioning the right authority. “All this anger, it just begets greater anger” are the words shared when Mr. and Mrs. Hayes are dating in the same restaurants bringing in the right thought; you watch the scene holding your chin waiting what Mildred’s next move is.