No Country For Old Men(2007)


When i was about to watch this film few years back, i had no idea what i was into.I didn’t read any synopsis or reviews because i didn’t want to spoil the thrill .All i knew was that the film was getting rave reviews and i shouldn’t miss it.And i was very well convinced that the Coen brothers can’t go wrong.And they didn’t. But it took me an overnight to understand that.After watching the film i was like “well this doesn’t make any sense”.But then i realized Coen brothers never made it easy for the viewers.There were always something to ponder about. Especially the metaphors they hide in each frame. The Big Lebowski  was the finest example of how tricky the Coen brothers can get and for that same matter it’s one of my favorite films .I am yet to write a review on that because i think i am not ready.

So the night i watched the movie, i was scribbling down the moments in the film that confused me.It took me the whole night.I Scribbled down my thoughts.When i woke up in the morning everything made sense. A sense of tranquility hit me. Bloody brilliant i screamed!!.I just watched the best film of the year and one of the best films ever made.Take a bow for the Coen brothers.

The film is about three men each distinct in their own ways. One is a man named Llewlyn Moss(Josh Brolin) , who finds a fortune which by the way is a bag of 2 million dollars, in the aftermath of a shootout that went awry.Another one is  a hitman Anton Chigurh  appointed to recover the lost money(Javier Bardem).And the third one is a soon to retire county sheriff  Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) on the trail of  Llewlyn and Anton.

Llewlyn is a welder and a war veteran.So he knows the drill.He is brilliant and good with the guns. Anton is a psychopathic killer.He is totally crazy.But he do has his own principles that makes him even scarier. This character played by Javier Bardem is one of the scariest anti-hero characters ever created. I can’t imagine anyone else in the place of Javier.He fits in so perfectly.The horrible haircut and that scary look on his face can give you chills .No wonder he won an Oscar.He deserved it better than anyone.The character played by Tommy is  an old and wise county sheriff.The film starts with his narration where he is seemingly concerned about the increasing  violence in the present society and how he followed his path of his father and grandfather to be a lawman.He even tells that the old-time sheriffs never carried any guns.This is to impart the idea that they were always prepared to die in their line of duty. No matter if you carry a gun or not, death is inevitable.Sheriff Ed clearly states that he is not afraid of the horrible things happening around but just that he is not willing to meet something  ‘he don’t understand’.Now by that he means the totally unpredictable  psychopathic assassin Anton.He is not just ready to meet this scary crazy guy.The film also ends with a retired Ed describing  two dreams he had the last night to his wife. In the first dream, he lost “some money” that his father had given him. In the second, he and his father were riding horses through a snowy mountain pass; his father, who was carrying fire in a horn, quietly rode by with his head down, “going on ahead, and fixin’ to make a fire” in the surrounding dark and cold. Ed knew that when he got there his father would be waiting. Then he woke up.

Now in the first dream “the money” may  refer to the lawmanship  he inherited from his father.And he lost it because he is retired and he couldn’t  cease Anton from his evil spell.The second dream implies that his father when dead was younger than he is now .But Ed is not just ready to die.He believes that the evil will continue to flourish in this world and he wants to be no part of it.

Llewlyn is a man who even thinks in his sleep.In one scene he suddenly wakes up from his sleep and goes back to the shootout site with a jar of water.He did that not just to bring water to the dying man but also to have  a grasp of the current situation. He knew he would get attacked  which is clear when he tells his wife  if he doesn’t come back tell his mother that he loves her.In another scene he wakes up suddenly in the motel room and utters “there’s just aint no way”. Because he was sure he would not get followed until there was really something , something like a transmitter or stuff like that. These scenes depicts the brilliance and the alertness of his character.

This movie however is mostly about Anton.His principles are scary.He is like the ultimate bad-ass.He represents the evil in the society.He even gives his victims a chance.A flip of a coin for their lives.He believes in fate.He might even be superstitious because  there’s a scene when he shoots at a crow while passing a bridge in his car.He might have found that as a bad omen.He only uses a single kind of weapon.This depicts that whatever the ways of evil are, their  aftermaths are all the same.He represents the evil side of a coin.He sees life as a coin.And he is happy to be the evil side of it.He kills Llewlyns’ wife because she was not ready to bet her life on a coin.This was the first time he was so against his own principles.Because his objective was to retrieve the money back which he couldn’t even after killing her.That act was totally unnecessary.He instantly  gets a payback for his karma when his car get hit by another.He gets severely hurt. He borrows a shirt from a boy and even pays him.Usually in such situations he kills them after getting the resources.But he didn’t kill the boy. Because he is just interested in killing the old and the ageing people.This is by the way another metaphor stating that the society is turning evil day  by day is no longer suitable for the old and the wise guys to live a peaceful life.

But there’s another instance when Anton spares Ed  without killing.Because Ed didn’t saw Anton hiding in the crime scene.He never kills anybody who doesn’t see him. This is to impart the notion that those ignorant towards the evil can continue to live in the society.That’s what sheriff Ed just did.He closed his eyes to the evil.So he is able to enjoy a peaceful retired life with his wife.But is that the righteous thing to do? We are left with nothing but more and more questions and implications.

My Rating : 9.3



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