No Country for Old Men

I wrote 2 pages of notes on this film. Suppose you take that as a good sign. I just wanted to note down everything and tell you everything. Suppose that’s a good thing too. I hadn’t read the synopsis before watching this film [or any of the other films that I’ve reviewed that I’ve never seen before]. I like that because the film becomes a mystery to solve and everything is a surprise. Although, knowing the plot would still leave you shocked at moments.

First thing is that the fantastic Tommy Lee Jones is in this film and he starts it all off with some narrating. He doesn’t do it for the whole film, probably only the beginning and end but you recognize his voice, even with its strong Texan accent. He tells us about himself and a little story that you think has a little to do with the plot but it has EVERYTHING to do with the plot, keep this in mind.

The first scene is so shocking that it makes the rest of the film a little more bearable. I guess the Coen brothers want to show the worse they could to prepare you for the rest of the rather violent film. Ooooo I want to tell you so badly what it is but I don’t think I will. I think I’ll leave you to find out yourself. If you love dogs, maybe don’t watch the first scene. Or the second. Or third. I think you’ll be ok from the third scene onwards. I made a note here that said I was about 11 minutes into the film and the death toll was already at about 7 or 9. Be prepared for it to raise to about the 30s by the end of the film.

In my opinion, one of the themes or aspects of society [especially American] is that innocent people are very kind and highly respect the police. You hear sirens, you don’t question it. I come from England and I recently moved to USA and I’ve noticed the massive difference in how nice strangers are to one another! You’re all so kind and trusting, its actually taking me some time to adjust to. In this movie, there is a very bad man called Anton Chigurh [played fantastically by Javier Bardem] yet the public do not know that he is a bad man. They help him because they think he is a normal citizen like them. I can assure you that no one in my hometown would help him, nor anyone for that matter. You Americans are too nice for your own good! Ignore the man in the bleeding shirt! Ignore him!

We are introduced to a hunter called Llewelyn [Josh Brolin]. He is our unlikely hero. He steals from the dead but has a conscience. He takes some money which Chigurh wants him to know very clearly isn’t his. The film is the bad guy chasing the hero and this is watched [always one step behind] by Ed Tom Bill [Tommy Lee Jones. Why is he still called Tommy? Grow up, you’re not 5.] In one scene, Llewelyn gives a mariachi band some money even though he’s the one laying on the ground with shrapnel in his gut. He’s a good man with bad man tendencies. A nice mixture of both which makes him the perfect ‘hero’.

I have so many notes but hardly any of them I can actually type without giving stuff away! I know I’ve given stuff away in previous reviews but there is something about this film that makes me want to tell you nothing so you can figure it and experience it all on your own. Anyway, there are a few things, the lighting in this is very clever and, I feel, sets the scene/atmosphere better than the scenery or the music do. There is one bit which I’ll tell you about as I think it won’t ruin anything. Evil Guy Chigurh finds Llewelyn [who has the hardest name to type fast EVER] in a hotel and you hear him coming towards the closed door and you see the shadow of his legs underneath the door. You think that this will give Llewelyn [I’m actually takes me about a minute to type his bloody name] an advantage but Chigurh is far to smart for this. He turns the landing light out and now you won’t be able to tell when he’s by the door. Its such a terrifying concept but a brilliant, smart one at that. If just heightens the tension that little bit more [if that was even possible!]. The way Llewelyn acts as he’s being chased makes you wonder whether he’s done this before as he knows all the little tricks to stop himself getting caught and killed. Either that or he’d just one hell of a lucky bloke.

The movie has the feel of both a classic Western and a very dark episode of CSI. Maybe not CSI but one of those TV shows with lots of murder. The scenery changes from a desert-like place and the city and somehow all three main characters look like they belong in both ‘worlds’. I find this very impressive as its very hard to make the character look both like a cowboy and some normal guy you’d see walking down the street. Covered in blood. Obviously.

There is a scene where you see Chigurh performing surgery on himself whilst being naked. Normally, this would symbolize him being in a vulnerable position but you don’t feel this at all. You still hate him and hope he’s in pain. Just the presence of him on the screen makes your skin crawl and you feel you couldn’t care less for him. That is the work of a fantastic actor and directors who all three won Oscars for their roles in this movie, and rightfully so! There are two lines in this film that I feel describe his character perfectly. He’s in this office and has just shot one of the two men in the room. The other one asks him “are you going to shoot me?” and Chigurh replies very simply, almost with a smirk on his face “that depends… do you see me?”. Watch the film, you’ll know exactly what I mean.

This review would be soooo much longer if I wrote about the parts that would give the whole film away. it’s a truly fantastic film and rightfully won Best Picture at the 2007 Academy Awards. You’re solving it in your head as the film goes along, you jump in your seat at times and its so good that even though the ending scene was a bit shit, I still think it was a fantastic film.



Published in: on January 7, 2010 at 11:11 PM  Leave a Comment  
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