No Country for Old Men - First, disjointed, spoiler-free reaction


I mean, whoa.

But I don't know how, or why.

All I can say is, I got out of this film in a daze. Shattered, you could say. Not quite sure quite what I'd seen, and not quite sure if it added up to anything. Sure, however, that everything on the screen was exactly what the Coen's intended, and exactly how they intended it.

Weird thing is, much as I've been keeping away from too detailed reviews and analyses of the film until now, I keep hearing people are surprised/disappointed about the ending. Now, I can understand that some people are ticked off by the lack of a clear resolution - although, being forewarned, much more was resolved than I had expected. But the ending, in my opinion, is what makes this film something more. The first three quarters of it, I was enjoying the film very much, but on a very superficial level: I thought it was well made, tense, scary even, funny, too, but I wasn't getting the 'masterpiece' vibe. After the ending...

Well, I don't know. Something. I came back and told a friend I'd just seen a movie that might be a masterpiece. Upon hearing what movie it was, his response was "Oh, I watched that last night! It was stupid!". Now, the only thing that really tells you is that some movies should not be downloaded and seen on a tiny laptop screen, but I had a hard time articulating a response, a hard time putting into words what exactly it was that made this movie clearly NOT stupid. I still don't know how. All I know is, I have a meeting with my thesis supervisor in twenty minutes, nothing to say to him, and yet I'm not preparing something for the meeting, but writing this blog post, trying to get my head around this movie.

I'll write another post tonight, after some more digestion, and after having finally read all the analytical pieces I've been closing my eyes for so far. I just wanted to put down my first thoughts, my gut reaction. Maybe it's all a joke on the Coen bros., maybe there is no deeper significance or thoughts and this movie's just another excuse for them to insert their beloved doorway-motif. Maybe it will turn out to be a profound meditation on violence, on life and death, and predetermination and/or choosing your own fate. Maybe, hopefully, my thoughts will have crystallized tonight. I wish I could go and see it again tonight, but unless I resort to the downloaded laptop format, I'll have to wait until Valentine's day.

1 comment:

cjKennedy said...

I think we had remarkably similar reactions to this movie. I knew the ending was a killer, but I didn't now why. I was stunned, but I had a stunned smile on my face. I felt I'd been in the presence of perfection, but I didn't know exactly why. I saw the movie again 2 days later and a third time about a week after that.

I waited a whole week from the time I first saw it until I wrote my review. I wrote down the opening paragraph and then just sat on it for a week. Then it all came pouring out of me almost like it was already written. I was anxious to put it up so I did less than my usual amount of tinkering and kind of rushed it.

I wasn't 100% Satisfied with the end result, it wasn't anything close to the epic I had in my head, but it was ok and people said nice things.

My thoughts have changed somewhat regarding what it all means, but I love it more than ever.

The crazy thing is that I still don't quite know what to make of it. For me this is strange. I like to intellectualize things. Verbalize it. Put it under a microscope and see what makes it tick. I'm defeated by NCfOM and I love it. All I can say is that it was poetry. You can grasp and explain corners of it, but it's impossible to put the whole thing into words. You just have to feel it.

One of my closest friends absolutely hated it and the sad part for me was that I was unable to explain why they were so tragically wrong.

I haven't read your second reaction yet, I wanted to read them like they happened. I'm weird that way.