Concise Review: Natural Born Killers (1995)


Natural Born Killers is a brutal and uniquely potent film. Its exploration of the media perpetuating the two main killers is fascinating and gut-wrenching. Oliver Stone evokes this idea throughout the entire picture. He makes the film feel like a series of television shows, idealised and patently absurd, which allows the commentary to be a constant presence. Additionally, his use of black and white is commendable. In the beginning, it is used as a means of showcasing absolute romantic idealism as Mickey (Woody Harrison) and Mallory (Juliette Lewis) nostalgically remember their first meeting. In the third act, it is used as a means to illustrate painful moments of the past as Detective Jack Scagnetti (Tom Sizemore) expounds upon a tragic incident in his childhood to Warden Dwight McClusky. (Tommy Lee Jones)

Finally, it is also compelling to consider Natural Born Killers within the context of Bonnie and Clyde, which was an equally controversial coupled based crime drama. That picture can be seen as a romanticised portrait of the outlaw life with an ironic and pessimistic ending. Stone advocates Natural Born Killers to be a positive film because, “it’s about freedom, and the ability of every human being to get it.” I disagree with Stone as the film seems to show that killing is an innate state of nature, which extends to humanity. With this in mind, even the most positive aspects of the human condition cannot hope to contain this idea at all.

About Sartaj Govind Singh

Notes from a distant observer: “Sartaj is a very eccentric fellow with a penchant for hats. He likes watching films and writes about them in great analytical detail. He has an MA degree in Philosophy and has been known to wear Mickey Mouse ears on his birthday.”
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