Monday, February 4, 2008

"You can't stop what's coming"

The movie is called ‘No Country for Old Men'. Weird title. For me, it's the most gripping story I have seen unfolding on screen since The Usual Suspects. The acting is brilliant. The script is crisp, tight, one major reason to compare it with Suspects. Coens were never so good. But it’s the cinematography that is the jewel of this crown.

The movie presents the themes of death, fate and the changing times. It presents the incomprehensible nature of mindless violence, especially the inability of the law to even understand it.

I’ve used the word ‘presents’ because there is no comment made in the movie on these issues. It does not dissect the topic by making its characters preach. That is left to us. One might look at it just as an intense thriller, without looking at all these themes I mentioned. But doing so would greatly undermine the source material, the novel by the same name by Cormac McCarthy.

The movie is not the typical good vs. evil drama. Why, by the end if it, one is not so sure if being on either side is enough to survive.

It also examines the randomness of death, represented by the cold blooded assassin (Javier Berdem). He is always dressed in black and not a muscle on his face flinches when he puts someone down. But it is not that he is unbeatable. An equal conviction from the opposite side is what is required. Barring one character, no one seems to possess it.

The movie is about a man (Josh Brolin) who stumbles upon a lot of cash while he is hunting in Texan outback, at a place where a drug deal has gone bad. He runs with the cash, and is chased by people who want the cash back. One of them is our psycho- killer. A Sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones) and his deputy are the third group of people, going through the crime scenes and trying to put the pieces together.

This is a landscape driven film, shot in Texas and New Mexico, Very nice cinematography, I can’t praise it enough.

It’s not to be missed.

Ellis: Whatcha got ain't nothin new. This country's hard on people, you can't stop what's coming, it ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity.