Oscars 2008: No Country for Old Men – REVIEW

No Country for Old Men never stops growing on you. I watched it over the weekend and it ruined the weekend for me. Haven’t kept the script down since the end credits rolled and it makes you feel more pathetic every passing hour. Undeniably one of the greatest movies ever made – “No Country for Old Men” is as deadly as it gets. Do yourselves a favor – watch it! 

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In the picture, you see a guy running with a bag in hand. His name is Moss. The movie never says whether he’s good or bad. But after stealing the money in the bag from a crime scene, he returns to help an unknown injured man. So maybe he is both, he needs the bad money, but still has a soul going in him. He is one of those people who try to survive and make a fortune by chance.

And we see that face behind him. From the looks of Anton Chigurh’s face we know he is evil. From the picture we know he is much bigger and deadlier than Moss. Moss has a gun, but Chigurh has a bigger gun – a bolt pistol (you ought to see the movie mister, to believe it). Moss does not stand a chance in their cat and mouse game. For Chigurh, killing is not an aberration, but the natural way of things. For us, a person needs a reason to be evil – Chigurh needs a clear reasoning for not killing you. ‘You don’t have to do this’ is not a good enough reason.

And the last man standing is Bell, the police officer who tries to save Moss from Chigurh. He constantly reminds us of the good old times when a cop did not have to carry a gun. His father and grandfather were cops too. He gapes at the rising crime and at the evil around with no clue what to do about that. He doesn’t understand the evil. In his own words, 

“The crime you see now, it’s hard to even take its measure. It’s not that I’m afraid of it.I always knew you had to be willing to die to even do this job –- not to be glorious. But I don’t want to push my chips forward and go out and meet something I don’t understand. You can say it’s my job to fight it but I don’t know what it is anymore.” 

So we have three characters. The first tries to survive and make a fortune by chance in a world by himself, with individual solutions to keep afloat and not get killed. The second is evil himself, his first instinct is to kill anything that crosses his path. And the old man sheriff who tries to make sense of the bigger picture, who tries to understand and contain the evil with a deep nostalgia about the “good ol’ times”, and in time realizing that evil was always there and you don’t win against it, that there is no country for old men. 

And nobody knows what happened to money in the end. But the movie shows you the bigger tragedy that life is, that you don’t really care where the money went. 

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Story: As the above. Full synopsis here in IMDB 

The Good:

1. Everything about it. The feel, the slow pace, the texan landscape, the script, the camera, the punchlines, the cast including Tomy Lee and Josh Brolin and the masterful evocation of the human condition. One of the greatest movies ever made. 

2. Anton Chigurh: Evil himself, played by Javier Bardem. The day he’s gonna come to your counter saying “Call it! FRIEND-O”, you are a dead man. He will win the Oscar for the Best Supporting Actor.( Tom Wilkinson can go back to work now!) and hey interesting stuff – Javier Bardem played Florentino Ariza in this years you know what.  

3. The horror man! The horror! – though I didn’t like it, its debuted above Apocalypse Now in IMDB all time top 50 movies. Is the movie a metaphor for something else? Don’t know. But it sure makes you try to know more about it, and more about human condition in general.  

The script is available right here 

Bad:

1.  I don’t understand texan and found it hard to follow some of those subtle, breaking dialouges. 

2. The Coen brothers didn’t compromise on their craft or the original novel, and hence if you sleep off for a minute, you miss it. I did.

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Oscars: 8 Nominations. My guess is Best Picture, Best Direction, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Supporting Actor. That makes it five right. Yeah the movie deserves it.

A killing scene from the script, Chigurh asks a random shop owner to choose between heads and tails. If he loses, Chigurh will kill him for no reason, I mean naturally.

Chigurh:I don’t have some way to put it.That’s the way it is.

He finishes the cashews and wads the packet and sets it on the counter where it begins to slowly unkink. The proprietor’s eyes have tracked the packet. Chigurh’s eyes stay on the proprietor.

Chigurh: What’s the most you’ve ever lost on a coin toss?

Proprietor: Sir?

Chigurh: The most. You ever lost. On a coin toss.

Proprietor: I don’t know. I couldn’t say.

Chigurh: Call it.

Proprietor: Call it?

Chigurh: Just call it.

Proprietor: Well – we need to know what it is we’re callin for here.

Chigurh: You need to call it. I can’t call it for you. It wouldn’t be fair. It wouldn’t even be right

Proprietor: I didn’t put nothin up.

Chigurh: Yes you did. You been putting it up your whole life. You just didn’t know it. You know what date is on this coin?

Proprietor: No.

Chigurh: Nineteen fifty-eight. It’s been traveling twenty-two years to get here. And now it’s here. And it’s either heads or tails, and you have to say. Call it.

Proprietor: Look… I got to know what I stand to win.

Chigurh: Everything.

Proprietor: How’s that?

Chigurh: You stand to win everything. Call it.

Proprietor: All right. Heads then.

Chigurh takes his hand away from the coin and turns his arm to look at it.

Chigurh: Well done.

He hands it across.

Chigurh:Don’t put it in your pocket.

Proprietor: Sir?

Chigurh: Don’t put it in your pocket. It’s your lucky quarter.

Proprietor: Where you want me to put it?

Chigurh: Anywhere not in your pocket. Or it’ll get mixed in with the others and become just a coin. Which it is.

7 Responses to Oscars 2008: No Country for Old Men – REVIEW

  1. ravi February 18, 2008 at 11:08 am #

    ve downloaded but yet to watch….. life here giving different lessons (no tcs comfort zone)…..hopefully it ends soon..btw went for skiing tht was freaking awesome…

  2. BVN February 19, 2008 at 5:19 am #

    yeah seems there is no country for us like weston 🙂

  3. jeethu February 20, 2008 at 4:52 am #

    It will ruin ur time for sure..but Javier Bardem had done one of his best performances!!!
    He Rocks

  4. BVN February 21, 2008 at 11:28 am #

    appo ninakku maryadakku comment cheyyanum ariyam 🙂

  5. Becky February 21, 2008 at 5:22 pm #

    Hey- I think you’ll really enjoy this video about No Country…

    http://www.ucbcomedy.com/videos/play/966

  6. patrick March 11, 2008 at 6:06 pm #

    saw no country for old men the other day, thought it was pleasantly unconventional… dumbfounding form a moral angle, but that can be a good thing.

  7. Biz September 27, 2009 at 4:51 am #

    This movie is the best that I watched recently. The plot is very original and intriguing. I was surprised by the fact that Tommy Lee Jones did nothing during whole movie, he was just appearing here and there, but he didn’t affected development of story at all.

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