Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is basically a comic drama film written, produced and directed by the Academy Award winner Martin McDonagh. It was released in early December of 2017 under Fox Searchlight Pictures, and as of today, it has grossed almost $57 million on a global level. It stars Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell and Caleb Landry Jones among others.
Leaving aside the technical aspects of the movie, there is one thing that is worth mentioning, that will pretty much sum up the overall fairing of the film among the masses. As of this month, the film has won four Golden Globes and eight Bafta nominations and is well on its way to the front line of the Oscars as well.
From an ordinary viewer’s perspective, the movie stars more than one emotion during the course of its unfolding. It is pretty high-intensity in comic aspects as well, but your reactions keep changing continuously. You will be surprised at your responses to the scenes, and it will also make you question your reactions.
You would think that you know where the movie is headed at one point but then, as I said, you’d be surprised. Emotions run high in the scenes where Mildred Hayes, played by Frances McDormand of course, lashes out in the war at the local police when the investigation into her daughter’s rape and murder case is stopped.
As mentioned earlier, Mildred Hayes is very upset over the progress of the rape and murder case of her teenage daughter. In protest she rents three billboards which when read in sequence read “Raped While Dying” “And Still No Arrests?” and “How Come Chief Willoughby?”.
These billboards create frustration and stir a range of emotions across the town, including the police officers. While the Sheriff is sympathetic of Mildred Hayes, he finds the billboards a little too unfair as well.
Then the movie progresses through some heart twitching cases and accusations against many people involved in the case in one way or another, some of the being cleverly thought-out plans.
There are also times when the Sheriff Willoughby coughs up blood during his interview with Hayes and then ultimately suicides. He also leaves suicide notes for a lot of people including Hayes, although on his note to Hayes he explains that she was not one of the contributors to his suicide. He also confesses that he even secretly paid to keep the billboards up for more time. In the same way, he leaves notes of advice and other things he had to say.
Later in the movie, the billboards are destroyed by Arson. Then in the course, some sample DNAs are found about the case.
Finally, does the case get solved? Is the guilty arrested? Well, that’s something that you need to watch intently to find out.
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It is a pretty twisted plot, and you need all ears and eyes to follow the story and understand the scenes. Of course, the direction is on the point which eases us through the twisted plot. It is not a coffee time movie that you can have on in the background while you sip away. It doesn’t give you that mood, nor does it fit that scene as it creates a serious vibe.
As is evident from the many surprising twists and turns in the plot, each evoking a churn within your already anxious mind, the movie is a whole package for people who are looking for a deep and emotionally charged entertainment. The pain, the remorse, and the grief experienced and expressed by the very talented actress and Academy Award winner McDormand, is beyond perfection. It feels very real and evokes a certain sympathy and empathy in us that we never thought we had. For the same reason, the movie connects deeply with mothers going through the same or similar kind of grief in their lives. Not just mothers for that matter, but anyone who lost their loved one to the kind of injustice portrayed in the movie.
In that sense, it also delves deep into one of the most pressing issues haunting a lot of developed and developing countries across the world. That way it also becomes a very socially relevant movie and carries a strong message with it, which explains its multiple award nominations.
In all, I would rate the movie a good 4.5 out of 5, with just a few points lost for slow-moving sequences. It is a must watch for every mother and daughter for sure.