No Country For Old Men
The film opens with a panning shot of an unbridled unmarked Texan landscape, with a voice-over by Tommy Lee Jones, sporting a thick Southern accent.He goes about describing a person he arrested years ago, on the serious charge of killing his girlfriend.It is within these few minutes that the Coen Brothers set the tone for the movie, and open the window through which you would view this film.
A faithful adaptation of a novel by Cormac Mccarthy going by the same name, it's styled as a western, with the expected plot elements of 'booty' and its suitors , each positioning himself on different positions on the moral scale.
A Mexican drug deal goes wrong, leaving everybody dead with an unclaimed case with 2 million dollars in it.Moss(Josh Brolin) stumbles on it, and unable to believe his luck, walks away with the easiest 2 million dollars he ever made in his life, leaving a rather heavily dehydrated man to die in the desert.
As fate would have it, his guilt( both recurring themes in the film) gets the better of him that night, and he returns to the scene of the crime, without realising and this very act would forcibly intertwine and bind together the fates of the three men who are central to the story.
We are introduced early on to Anton Chigurgh, who escapes from custody with a dedicated brutal act of violence, setting a rather dark tone for perhaps one of cinema's best villain characters of all time, edging out the likes of Noah Cross and Nurse Ratched.He goes through the bleak landscape mindlessly and mercilessly killing anybody, irrespective of whether they lie on his path or not, a cattle stunner being his weapon of choice.His weird 60' hairdo and perfectly coherent manner of speaking only add to his 'I am death personified' image.The film oozes Chigurgh in every scene,even when it doesn't hold him.
The film structures itself as a game of cat and mouse, and has plenty of scary moments: The hunter quickly dissolves into the hunted, and vice versa.At no point in time do the three men meet each other, face to face, but they all chart out each other's future.
Another motif,an established Coen favourite, is that of chance.Fate,coincidences,and the way the coin falls has always been a standard Coen plot element, in this case literally.
The Coens may have made films in the past where the screen death count is zero(Intolerable Cruelty), but they will never,I guess, make a film without its fair share of funny moments.
One particularly brilliant scene , somewhat reminiscent of the 'Sicilian scene' in 'True Romance'
takes the cake; and here,yet again , it involves chance.
This may easily be one of the Coen Brother's best efforts, and that is saying a lot after Miller's Crossing, Fargo and The Big Lebowski.The Coen's have come up with a modern day classic for all times, and its crime if you don't see it.Its already there in my top 21 list :)
So I suggest you drop whatever your doing, even if it is surgery, and go watch the film. . The work can wait, the patient can die.It hardly matters in the larger scheme of being able to watch a good movie.