Saturday, November 17, 2007

No Country for Old Men

The Coen Brothers strike with a screen version of Cormac McCarthy's book- and they strike with a bloody, violent, graphic, heart thumping vengeance. A modern day (1980s) western composed of white drug runners, border Mexican drug gangs, and people who live in the rugged and conveniently lawless areas of the west Texas-Mexican border , it uses the talents of Tommy Lee Jones and Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin to bring it grittily to life. The body count is large for such a "small" film. The title tells the story. No one expects to live a long life here and when money comes in an opportunistic form- well, what is there to lose by taking it? Ah, Bardem-a more heartless villain has never appeared in film. With the exception of the vile Natural Born Killers, there just isn't another person as cold, disconnected and methodical as the villain played by Bardem. The story has a very nuanced reference to the VietNam War and how it has produced killers like the ones portrayed by Bardem and Woody Harrelson (botoxed and smooth as a baby butt). It is hard to watch yet you will watch it- every gory, bloody, bone crushing second of it. And the end? It made perfect sense.