Saturday, October 20, 2007


ఉ. నాలిక నోటలేని మగ నాయన నిమ్మన పెద్ద రొక్కమే
హేలగ చూసి పొమ్మనియె హేళననోర్వని పెన్మిటంతనే
కూలికి పిచ్చిలిద్దరిని కొల్లయు గొట్టగ మామ సంపదా
తోలెను మంచిచెడ్డ విడ తొందరపాటున చిక్కెనూబిలో

ఫార్గొ చిత్రంలో జీన్ లండ్గార్డ్ తన భర్త జెరి లండ్గార్డ్ గురించి అనదగ్గ మాటలవి.

Coen Brothers’ Fargo is a crime thriller that also happens to be a dark comedy, OK make that very dark. Set in the middle of nowhere where a lot can happen and it does, it has some chilling scenes that stay with you long after; like a severed leg being pushed into a wood-chipper that's spewing bloody pieces into bloodied snow or the half-shot face of Steve Buscemi plastered with tissue paper.

The movie is set in North Dakota and Minnesota’s heavy snow season. The contrast with the dark deeds that happen is starker because of the setting. The ‘Minnesota nice’ folks that gel well with the background also add to the usual quirky and eccentric characters that populate Coen Brothers’ films. William Macy’s performance in the movie is a stand-out though Frances McDormand won the coveted statuette for her ‘carrying quite a load here’ cop.

He plays Jerry Lundegaard, a ‘i-am-carpet-walk-all-over-me’ character. People do just that while he ends up losing respect at home and work. Add to this a bully of a father-in-law, you have a perfect case of horribly repressed fellow dying to show his alpha-masculinity. He wants to make it big, but the problem is, he goes about it in a wrong way.

His father-in-law refusing to pony up money for his business proposal, then stealing the idea and humiliating him proves to be the last straw. Jerry hatches a plot to stage fake kidnapping of his wife to extract money out of the father-in-law. Things go horribly wrong and much blood is shed in the snowy town. Frances McDormand, the heavily pregnant and the unlikeliest of cops to go after killers, does it in her own dogged and meticulous way. She also gives us some laughs along the way, her interview with a pair of hookers being the highlight.

The same line repeated by various characters in different scenes is one way Coen Brothers extract comical results in their movies. Here it is Steve Buscemi being described as ‘Funny looking small fellow’ by many people that does the job. Characters struggling to pronounce tough words (remember, O brother where art thou? and ‘accompanist’?) is another recurring feature. Steve Buscemi does that with ‘carcinogenic’ in one scene and settles for an easier ‘gives cancer’.

Small characters shine too. Like the bartender who gives a cop the whereabouts of the killers. The way he narrates his interaction with Steve Buscemi, the repeated ‘I’m going crazy out there at the lake” line and the final “oh, he was funny in a general kind of way” makes the little scene a very very funny one. You can see that and another funny scene here.

If you like dark comedies and don’t mind some blood on the way, Fargo is right up your alley.

1 comment:

Sriram said...

Thanks for introducing a nice movie!