No Country For Old Men (15)

Written and Directed by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, from a novel by Cormac McCarthy
On general release from 18th January 2008

Reviewed by Amanda DeAngeles

Well, I am sure by now, if you are a film buff, you will have heard things such as “superb” or “a masterpiece”. I could go on …

In validation of such accolades, I cannot wait to read Cormac McCarthy’s book, and I will probably go to see the film again once more on the big screen!

Simply put, I find there are no imperfections. The Coen brothers’ filmmaking resonates to enable the viewer to experience that they are actually in the picture. This is a film that envelops humanity, tangible beauty, or grotesque terror within every scene. Importance of light, space, dialogue, silence, intrigue, good and evil and even something in-between the two (represented by the fortune or misfortune of Llewelyn Moss played by Josh Brolin, the hunter) are prevalent.

It is apparent that this is not show-off-man-ship, but instead, a great story comes to life by indulging the viewer’s embodiment into the reel - near enough to feel breath through quality acting and natural sets of non-manufactured grime in New Mexico. You will experience heat, pain, dust, claustrophobia, and fear.

Tommy Lee Jones plays Sheriff Ed Tom Bell in a narrative role, Woody Harrelson supports, but equal screen filling to Brolin, goes to Javier Bardem, who plays Anton Chigurh (pronounced Sugar) as an intensely good baddie. Not a word of script or even a single sound is wasted. This film shows horror and grace at close quarters, and intelligently investigates the concept of ‘hunter versus hunted’ as well as the premise of ‘senseless killing’.

It bows to the suspense of Hitchcock, the brutality of Tarantino, and sheer expertise in the art of filmmaking one finds in Kubrick’s work. Somehow, here, Ethan and Joel Coen have surpassed certain elements of the brilliance of their counterparts.

With regard to the plot, I warn you in the end, there are no answers, and that in itself heroically seals the deal for me. You will see this how you will, but I urge you: DO NOT MISS THIS FILM!

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