Its cold, dark and chilling. Its No Country for Old Men. There’s not even substantial background score for one to get some warmth. The movie doesn’t offer any cliched ray of hope. Ofcourse, it does provide that ever permanent hope of chance in the penultimate scene. But whatever warmth is there, its transient. Its about the helpless and the hopeful as they slowly lose their hope in arbitrary ways. Faced with chance, they come a cropper. One might be led to question if that is realistic. We are faced with uncertainty all the time. But what of the cases, when the odds swamp us? That is the bleak reality that the characters in the movie face and lose to.
The Coens… I’ve seen Fargo before. It was a well made thriller, but at the end of the movie, felt like it got nowhere. It was dark, alright. It had similar elements. Good cop. Ambivalent guy sets up a killer on something. Killer goes on an arbitrary rampage. But that movie wasn’t as focussed and ruthless as this one. In Fargo, the cop tracks down the killers atlast. The killers by themselves weren’t so imposing or dark, which Anton Chigurh certainly is. I guess one key difference was that this one’s a Western. I mean, not just the physical landscape as a metaphor for the ruthlessness. But drugs, money and violent crime, so characteristic of the Western, added to the ruthlessness. Plus there was the hero – Llewelyn Moss, an illustration of the hero that eventually wasn’t. The one that fought a little more than others, going down. As the inevitable happened. As the juggernaut eventually got to him. I guess it was McCarthy’s novel that provided the material for this difference. (Should get my hands on that sometime!)
And much like Fargo, halfway through the movie, I was like, where’s this heading? My mom interrupted there and I had to have a long conversation with her. Was it by chance or by fate? 😉 I don’t care. But our conversation had a few exchanges that pointed me towards the point being made by the movie. As I watched the rest of the movie, the message got clearer and starker. The closing titles had some cold music to start with that made the feeling even stronger. I want more. And, I am watching Fargo again sometime, to compare, contrast and reassess. As for now, I need something warm, like IR’s Thiruvaasagam.