Search This Blog

Sunday, May 15, 2011

To Go Farther Than Any Man Has Gone Before

Fargo is a Coen Brother's film, a very black comedy, and good at what it does. It is set in the freezing wastes of Minnesota, and establishes a setting which seems homey and comforting, creating an enormous contrast to the events of the film. It follows one man and his attempt to kidnap his wife and claim an enormous bounty from her rich father. Interestingly the protagonist of the story is not introduced until about half an hour in. The main character, the villain of the story, seems like such a pathetic human being, and his accent makes it seem like hes a likeable guy. He has that classic Minnesota accent that makes him so... non threatening. It's the classic misunderstanding leading to catastrophe that pervades so many comedies.

Fargo is a comedy of errors, of murder, and of lies. The entire movie is a lie, but for a reason. The opening of the film states that it is based on a true story. This is false, the Coens' claim it came a little bit from everything, all the death and lies and sex in the world, but it is still a lie. These lies pervade the film as they pervade our lives. Everything about the film is planned, everything that looks thrown together, like the random deaths, the needlessness of the deaths, it is all part of the message.

This message is not a happy one, but it is not a sad one. Just that life is messed up, everything and everyone, but there are some people who, despite all that, still try, and these good people are what we need to get by. The central message, theme, whatever, is perfectly shown when at the end of all that, the protagonist police women just wonders why someone would do all that, kill that many people for just a little money. "There is more to life than money", she says, a traditional moral in an amoral world.

The entire film is about greed, about money, about those who live by it and die by it. At one point Steve Buscemi's character argues over the matter of a few hundred dollars, when he had over 900 thousand waiting for him a few miles away. Even though it doesn't actually matter, the principle is that he must have everything he wants, all the money, all the power. This film of greed continues through many of the Coens' films, with the false ransom in the Big Lebowski, and the briefcase full of money in No Country for Old Men.

Greed is one of the 7 deadly sins, and this movie shows just how much shit it can cause. Let's finish this up. The world is a fucked up place, people die for no god damn reason, and god is not going to do shit about it. People though, people can do things, they can make a difference, with all the pain, and death, and hardships that choice, to make a difference, to help and not hinder, is what makes all the difference.

No comments:

Post a Comment