It’s been a while since a movie shows the complexity and originality of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing. The screenplay was written by Martin McDonagh, the same filmmaker behind Na Mira del Chief, Six Shooter and Seven Psychopaths and a Shih Tzu. Coming from the theater, McDonagh takes extraordinary care in the way he develops his characters and the world in which they live. This feature gives the director’s productions a realistic tone so strong that it makes the viewer wonder if their stories are based on real events.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing is one of these films. His characters are so complex and real that it is easier to believe in this story than in other current films that are based on famous books or are still biographies. Of course, such McDonagh talent, in the writing of dialogues and remarkable scenes, is strongly helped by great actors who lend their voices to the director’s works.
In the case of Three Billboards, it is Frances McDormand who gives life to the character Mildred, a mother who feels not only guilty for the death of her daughter, but also forced to encourage the police to find the murderer (even though he has left no clue ). Thus, Mildred, even in financial trouble, is able to raise money to pay for billboard ads, which accuse local police of not striving as hard as she can in the case.
This causes chaos in a small area of Missouri, especially as some cops, such as Willoughby (Woody Harrelson), are respected or even revered in the city. Although this premise is already enough to create a fight between the protagonist, who wants to find some outcome to her suffering, and the city, McDonagh goes far beyond that.
The reason Three Billboards Outside Ebbing is so realistic is that no character is good or evil. All are complex. The police really are sincere when they say that there is nothing more to do, since the culprit left no vestige that can identify it. At the same time, we understand Mildred’s feelings and hope that she will achieve her goal. This dilemma where everyone seems to have a certain degree of reason gives enough suspense to the film and leaves any cliché difficult to appear.
But McDonagh does not stop there. Many scenes show the more obscure sides of the protagonist. For example, Mildred and her daughter did not have a friendly relationship. They fought all the time and it was after one of these fights that her daughter leaves home not to return. And this imperfect relationship makes Mildred’s sense of guilt unbearable.
The theme of the film is loss and how it can affect the human being intolerably. With a high degree of knowledge of human psychology, McDonagh shows that billboards are not just a strategy for Mildred to work for her daughter. Far too much, the ads, during the course of the movie, become her daughter. And so Mildred will do anything to keep them as long as possible.
(This article original language is portuguese. This translation was made with Google Translate)