“This didn’t put an end to shit, you fucking retard; this is just the fucking start. Why don’t you put that on your Good Morning Missouri fucking wake up broadcast, bitch?”
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri tells the story of a woman whose daughter is raped and murdered by men who are still on the loose. Frustrated with the police’s lack of attention to the case, Mildred erects 3 Billboards that causes chaos among the people in the town. When I first ventured to go see this film, I had no real desire to see it. I thought it was going to be another person being sarcastic and rude in order to accomplish…something. No, I had no desire to see this. But as I sat through the film, my personal opinion changed. This is by far one of the best films of 2017.
My opinion changed after I was deeply impacted by this woman’s struggle on screen. Mildred, along with the many characters, had flaws, but they did not want help or sympathy in regard to said problems. Mildred, played by the talented Frances McDormond, presents herself as rough and tough character. But what touched me the most in the portrayal of this character was the sympathetic nature that is hidden deep down beyond the layers of sarcasm. In a scene with Woody Harrelson, both of these two hard headed characters ferociously bicker at one another. Seeing these two actors on screen is a treat for both your eyes and ears. During the heated conversation, something happens that causes Mildred’s heart to be revealed. It’s a simple scene, with not very many words spoken between them. But in the end this small scene rounds out both of these characters, softening them as the story progresses. As for Sam Rockwell’s performance as the eccentric and short-tempered police officer, Dixon, well, is there even a character that Rockwell cannot excel at portraying. The film makes Rockwell do some crazy things and he executes each act with undeniable anger and humor.
The narrative is impactful in the fact that is shows so much, yet not enough of what these characters are doing. The ending of the film is a little opened ended, but it’s no different from the rest of the film. The film’s true message is to look at the personal progress of the characters on screen, as they learn not to fight anger with anger, but to fight injustice with love and compassion. The direction with said message of the film works all the way up into the last scene, making us wonder, but not being left clueless. Martin McDonaugh’s direction is simplistic, but well done. McDonaugh doesn’t get in the way of what is actors are trying to achieve on screen, but guides them in such a way that you know that his style of directing is an essential part of the process.
Three Billboards goes farther than most movies have this year. It resonates with our political climate, and is able to create a beautiful story with drama, humor, and heart.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Directed by Martin McDonagh
Starring, Frances McDormond, Woody Harrelson, and Sam Rockwell