Friday, January 22, 2010

No Country For Old Men

Finally watched this recently and my reaction when the credits rolled was: WTF?

I went out to The Movie Spoiler to see if what I'd actually seen what I thought I saw.

And, yes, it turns out


that the movie really does end with everyone the bad guy was hunting being slaughtered and Tommy Lee Jones telling a weird story about someone carrying a fire in a horn


then the credits roll.

To borrow from Ebert: I hated hated hated that movie.

And, I've now had it with Cormac McCarthy.

I didn't really like the Kafka I had to read in college when I got past the morbid interest, and I see no point in anyone trying to out-Kafka Kafka.

I see less point in reading it.


Whisky Prajer said...

After Chigur broke out of jail (I loved the scuff-marks on the floor), I thought the movie was rather so-so, for the Cohen Bros -- but I might have thought differently if I'd seen it on the big screen. That predetermined ending you so hate is completely up their alley, however. Just off the top of my head I can't recall any CB detective who managed to resolve a crime by any other means except sheer happenstance accident.

I did like the book -- more than the movie, and a great deal more than I did The Road (which I still hate, hate, hate). No Country (the book) isn't nearly as air-tight as the movie, and there is a great deal of puzzling over what, exactly, the difference was between the men who came home from WWII and the men who came home from Vietnam. Some of that head-scratching got me thinking differently about the state of things, which I didn't expect to have happen after reading McCarthy.

Not that you need to read the book for that. I'm sure there are one or two on-line book reviews that would do the trick, and save a heap of reading (and potential frustration).

Yahmdallah said...

It still could've had the same ending in terms of events (everyone dead / Sheriff retired out of hopelessness) and I might've liked it, but there's nothing that signals that ending so you can prepare for it.

In a tragedy, you have to be alerted in the story somehow (at least a fictional story) that what has happened (the bad guy won and won big) is gonna be it. Frinstance, perhaps a shot of Chigur driving away smiling from the last kill, and the Sheriff going out to the massacre sight, taking off his hat and saying "fuck it" or something like that. Show us the end, in other words.

Now there are a few folks out there who would howl at that suggestion - that we are explicitly shown closure, especially in a fiction where the hero is so morally corrupt - but they are in the minority, methinks.