Friday, February 22, 2008

Worn With Age and Time

No Country for Old Men
Directed by: Joel and Ethan Coen
Year: 2007
Starring: Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem,

Tommy Lee Jones and Woody Harrelson.

Seeing as the Oscars are on Sunday, and I sadly have no really commented on the picks of the race, I figured I'll make due with what little time I have and share my input on one of the films that was the best of 2007. Sadly, I have not seen some of the picks(There Will Be Blood, Diving Bell...,Etc.) But anyways, let the review begin.

We open No Country For Old Men with Anton Chigurh(A fierce Javier Bardem) being whisked away by a police officer. He is taken to the station and to be locked up when he manages to escape, but not easily. Chigurh is a cold, unforgiving character, he shows no fear, no hesitation, he will kill if he has to kill. He is probably the dictionary definition of Bad Ass, if you looked it up. Not only is he a psychopath, but he also won't take no for an answer.

Fast forward to Llewelyn Moss(Josh Brolin) a simple man who is out hunting when he stumbles upon the aftermath of s shoot out. Many men are dead, there is a substantial amount of heroin among the premise, and also 2 million dollars. Somehow, Chigurh and Moss are connected. Both want the money, and both will do what it takes to keep the other from getting it. Only Chigurh is equipped with better weaponry, most notably a captive bolt pistol. The kind of weapon used on cattle before they are slaughtered. Llewelyn has a wife to care about, and he desperately wants her to be safe. However, he is very secretive about the $2 million, and also very protective of it.

Also in the mix is Ed Tom Bell(A worn Tommy Lee Jones) the man who is on both of their tails. Like the deserts of Texas, Bell is old and ready to let the wind carry him away. He is dry, but good at his game. With age comes wisdom, as the saying goes. Watching his screen presence is haunting, here we have a man who is nearing retirement, he is tired and in need of some rest, but also he wants to do the right thing and serve justice.

Despite some of its flaws, No Country is an aching movie, full of emotion and energy, and at times, pretty damn scary. Most notably one scene where the two are at a cheap hotel and see each other semi face to face. Also, the film has a few moments that are definite Coen Bros moments. And while parts might be dark and haunting, it actually has quite a few moments that are humorous or witty.

Still, one thing that is also on my mind, as well as almost everyone else who saw it is the ending. I won't give it away, but I will say that it is the kind of thing that you need to take some time to think about. Though I will admit, I was, along with many members of the audience, kind of pissed off and surprised at its abruptness. Though I wasn't one of the people who groaned or exclaimed, "What the hell?!" I could see their stance. However, according to a friend who read the book, it is a more satisfying conclusion if you've read the source material.

Again, having not seen Blood or some other popular Oscar choices, I will just say that until proven otherwise, this was one of my favorites. It was the kind of movie that was not only well done, but also a true achievement. And even though it is mostly gone from theaters and not on DVD, I'd still recommend popping Fargo into your DVD player and watching one of the best from the Coen Bros. You won't regret it.

1 comment:

Sharon said...

I REALLY wanna see this, esp after this review! haha.