The plot is simple. It’s a mom’s quest to find the killer and rapist of her daughter, and she is ready to do absolutely anything to do the same. In one glorious move, she directly attacks the Police Chief by asking hard questions about the murder on 3 billboards placed on a freeway that is hardly used by anyone. And this, as they say, stirs up the hornet’s nest.
While everyone sympathizes with her, they also sympathize with the chief as he is not only a good man but also a dying man. While she doesn’t know about it when she puts up the hoarding, but even after finding out she doesn’t bend. She knows she is on the right path and no guilt can stop her from finding out the truth about her daughter. Now, she not only faces the wrath of the town but also of the Chief’s racist sidekick. Will she succeed in her mission, in embarrassing the police enough for them to find her daughter’s killer? Or will she succumb to the pressure put by the police on her? To know that you will have to watch the movie. And watch you must!
The movie will really make you think. You might find some things too farfetched, too sudden, but then most of it will just make you think what you would have done. You will judge each character, you will take sides, you will definitely be moved. It is not a perfect movie, but it is an affecting movie and very rarely does a movie put you on that moral seesaw. Is the mother going to far by going after a dying police chief? Is the police chief really a good guy if he supports a racist, aggressive subordinate? Is the subordinate really bad or is he driven to that by his wicked mom? Is the mother really any different than a racist subordinate if she discriminates against a dwarf? There are many questions and very few answers. You have to look within to find these answers and that is the triumph of the film.
Martin McDonagh, the writer-director of this film is truly a champ. After having given us marvels like “In Bruges” and “Seven Psychopaths”, he really ups the game in Three Billboards. He could be picking up some big ones at the Oscars soon. And what adds the cherry on top are the performances. While Francis McDormand is flawless as the grieving mother ( and almost has the Oscar in the bag), Woody Harrelson excels as the police chief stuck between a rock and a hard place. But the one who’s character is the most flawed is the wicked subordinate played by Sam Rockwell. You might question his character’s arc, but you won’t question the performance – it’s brilliant. It’s so good to see him get some meaty roles once in a while. And this might just get him an Oscar.
So you might catch it before the Oscars on Monday morning or maybe after that, but be assured that it will be hoarding a lot of awards. Coz whether you like it or not, Francis McDormand is a Volcano that will engulf you with her fury.
Rating: 4.5/5 - Yes, it has its problems, but then it is like nothing you have ever seen.