Thursday, November 22, 2007

No Country For Old Men

I've seen the Coen Brother's latest film No Country For Old Men twice now.

The more I think about it, the more I like it. The more I think about it, the more uneasy the suspense in the film makes me. The more I think about it, the more Javier Bardem seems like Darth Vader or Norman Bates or something.

This film is engrossing, sad, sweet and, above-all, filled with nerve-wracking suspense.

There's some type of drug deal gone wrong and some money that is at stake, but that's really not at all what the film is about. I mean, to a degree it is. Obviously, the money motivates Josh Brolin's character and on some level it motivates Javier Bardem, but it's ancillary to the tale being told. But the film is really about how people deal with each other when they don't understand each other.

I don't think Tommy Lee Jones' character can comprehend Javier Bardem's character at all. So in order to try to stop him, he has to try to figure out Josh Brolin's character whom he understands only slightly better than Javier Bardem. It's an amazing thing to watch a police officer flounder trying to end a string of crimes but since there's no rhyme or reason to deal with it's simply impossible. It seems incomprehensible to Tommy Lee Jones that a person like Javier Bardem could even exist.

I really, really, really loved this movie. This is a return to form for the Coens. Well.... I don't know if it's a return to form, exactly. They've been fairly consistent. Only one of their films has been at worst half-a-misfire (The Ladykillers) and one was a genuine attempt at a more mainstream audience (Intolerable Cruelty).

I can see that John Q. Filmgoer might leave this film unsatisfied by the climax and the ending, but the more I process what I'd seen, heard and felt watching it, it's a shame that more people won't see the film because of it.

I really don't feel comfortable talking about what the meaning of this film was. It's something you just need to see for yourself. That would be like me trying to tell you what 2001 means to me, or something. It just needs to be a personal sort of thing. I will say that the ideas of things getting worse as generations go by and the last generations trying to set a beacon of light for the next combined with the title really, really hit me hard.

This film is truly a cut above and you really just need to see it.

(Aside from the perfection of the story, acting and directing, kudos must be given to Roger Deakins was phenomonal. Half the film was shot in beatiful vistas and silhouettes and it was quite a sight to see.)

Good show, Brothers Coen. Good show.


John said...

I thought if was a bit boring and laid from the same cookie cutter as Fargo. Just my opinion, nothing else.

Steven said...

John is just kidding I think. Or he's a complete shrude. It has to be one of the two.

91 said...

Just saw it myself... all I can say is that I feel sorry (to the point of shedding a tear or two) for those people that just don't get it; No Country for Old Men is one of the best movies I have ever seen.

idontknow said...

This movie was really bad. I mean really. I can understand the desire for it to become an "instant classic" because it has cool lines backed up by a creative display of violence, but that's about all it had. Any story? Nope. Character development? Zip. How about a reason for the sequence of lines and violence? None at all. When I was ready to see the reason for the said two hours of sequence I was greated with a guy who likes to flip quarters walk away from a car accident and then had listen to Tommy Jones' dreams. Then a black screen. When the movie was over, my wife and I were left looking each other with odd expressions on our faces. "Are you shittin' me!?!", she said, followed by my laughter, then anger for being duped into watching this incredibly lame "Picture of the Year". While the acting was incredible, the entertainment portion of the movie (the story) was completely absent. During the entire show I was bored off my ass wondering why I should give a damn about any of it. I am tired of the argument from people saying "You just need to watch it again, you just don't get it." Well, there is noting to get. The movie is so empty but with that great acting and neat writing it HAS to MEAN something, right? Right!?! Oh, please mean something.