Sunday, May 04, 2008

DVD Review - No Ending For Old Men

I more or less liked "No Country for Old Men" when I saw it late last year. I was confounded by the ending, but still thought it was okay.

Well, my wife and I watched the DVD last night, and on second viewing, it just makes me more angry that the film denies us a proper ending.

The acting was uniformly great, and Bardem's Oscar was well-deserved. But the presentation of the film ultimately failed for me.

I know how the film is SUPPOSED to be about the path everyone takes to get where they are, and how it's about the senselessness of violence and greed, but that's not what the movie gave us for the first 95% of its running time. We had a well-plotted, clear, concise film, with incredibly tense scenes. But then the Coen Bros abandon this over the last ten minutes or so, and decide that telling a cohesively-plotted story isn't what they were doing after all. The movie ends with (spoiler alert!) the main character getting killed offscreen by people who we didn't see until moments before the shootout took place (offscreen). And then we don't learn for sure if Chigur did indeed end up with the money, then we're only given the implication that he kills Josh Brolin's wife, and then we don't find out what ultimately happens to Chigur after he walks away from a car crash.

Some people loved that this film went against convention and turned the ending on its head, but it didn't work for me. And I also don't care if that's how the book ended.

But... it won Best Picture, so I guess someone really liked it.

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