Death Personified

sugar.jpg (164 KB)


Anton Chigurh from No Country for Old Men


You can tell an ant on sugar “You don’t have to do this.”, but I doubt it will listen.

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    16 Responses to Death Personified

    1. I’m still waiting for the Cohens to make a movie that isn’t absolutely amazing.


    2. I’m not your friend-o, buddy.


    3. this movie was so pointless. Its just this guy going around killing random people. But then again, who needs plots?


    4. @TGGeko:

      Are you trolling, or do you just not get out much?


    5. TGGeko, I have to disagree. The point of the film is that the good guys don’t always win like they do in the ‘movies’.

      Notice how Llewellyn, Sheriff Ed Tom and Carson all wear white cowboy hats? Like the invincible cowboys of yore? All of them (except Ed Tom, he realizes he’s in over his head & quits) think they have everything under control? Well, it’s like the story that Ed Tom tells Llewellyn’s wife about the guy slaughtering the cattle. Nothing is certain.

      This point is driven home several times, but you have to be paying attention. All the things you think are important in this film aren’t. All the things that subtly slip by you are actually the crux of the film.

      And then at the end, when Ed Tom is talking about his dream, you start to drift off. Just when you stop listening to what he’s saying, he says “And then I woke up.” And there’s the credits. And you go “Holy shit, that was fucked up.”


    6. @reboot

      Im not your buddy, guy!


    7. @njch412
      I’m not your guy, friend!


    8. I don’t think this was about good guys not winning or any of that. I believe the theme is directly in the title; that the world moves on, even if we don’t. There have always been monsters like Chigurh throughout history, but the main character (the Sheriff) was having trouble with the idea of such a man existing at this stage in his life. He felt like he couldn’t keep up, that he was being left behind.

      I wish the Coen brothers would have transitioned scenes a little better. Just a little more time in the beginning and end of scenes to get a sense of bearing. And I think they could should have done a better job of explaining Llewellyn’s demise. The teenage drifter he picked up and talked to just became a “Hiya” by the motel pool. The local sheriff’s deputy should have explained what happened at the scene, but didn’t. And there was no shootout between Chigurh and the Sheriff. So that part almost seemed rushed. I guess all of this would probably add another 20-30 minutes to an already ADD afflicted audience, but it could have made a great movie a little better.

      But the ambience, mood, lack of music, cinemetography, was all perfect. The Coen Brothers did an incredible job of making these characters come to life.


    9. Tony pretty much nailed it, but the oncoming future thing is tied with an extreme fatalism.

      Chigurh says it quite a few times in the movie. In the scene at the gas station he explains how the coin made its way after 23 years (I think it was 23) and rather than Chigurh deciding the man at the counter’s fate, the coin makes the decision.

      Before killing Llewellyn’s wife he comments on how everyone says he “doesn’t have to do this.” Well, thats just the thing, he does. We are powerless against our fate which, in the end, is settled by a simple coin toss.

      Also, the most of the movie is based on coincidence, suggesting that the entire adventure was pre-planned. Had Llewllyn not gone back to get the Mexican water, had the man at the counter not “married into it,” had Chigurh not found the phone records at Llewellyn’s home none of the rest of the plot would have played out.


    10. In an odd way, the ending of this movie felt really similar to the ending of Fargo, albeit much less optimistic.

      By the way, this movie has the most terrifying DVD cover I’ve ever seen.


    11. I think everyone here has some good ideas as to what themes are represented in the film. I don’t think it’s necessarily a black and white thing, as the whole film is one metaphor after another. Even the phonetic similarity between Anton and Ed Tom’s names, with their characters being polar opposites.

      There was no need to show the demise of Llewellyn, as that reinforces the idea that what you thought was important actually isn’t. The off-hand handling of his death helps shock you out of the happy idea that the good guys had a shot at winning.

      Again, no showdown between Ed Tom and Anton, because that’s not what this is about. Ed Tom has accepted his fate, and his fate is to let the world move past him.

      Remember when Anton is about to shoot Carson? He challenges his white-hat ideology. Something about ‘If the rule you followed has only gotten you here, what good was the rule?’ Anton is tying together the two themes mentioned right here. He is demonstrating both that he is the master of his own fate, unlike those that follow the rules of society, and that the good guys don’t always win.

      In regards to fate versus chance, also notice that Anton wields the very tool that Ed Tom mentions at the end of his anecdote about slaughtering cattle. The tool that adds more certainty to the contest between man and steer. And yet we see Anton struck by a big helping of random chance, as he is broadsided while passing through a green light, looking back at the innocence of children.

      Many conflicting themes, all of them coming together to create one of the most thought provoking films by the Cohens yet.


    12. @ suicydking

      I guess I should have made it clear that my comments were in reference to things that were in the book, but not the movie. For those that were left completely confused, I suggest you read it. As soon as I heard that the Coen Brothers were having a new movie come out soon, I picked up the book and read it. I’m stationed in Germany, and when the film finally got to that location, I got deployed. But I did just see it on DVD.

      The Road, by Cormac McCarthy as well, is also a great book. But if you think this was fatalistic, holy shit, you just have to read it. They are making that into a movie too, but I don’t know how they could possibly capture the total sense of defeat , hope, and love in that novel. It was emotionally exhausting reading it.


    13. Having not read the novel, I can only pass along my thoughts on the Coen brothers’ interpretation.

      However, having read The Road, I am urging everyone I know to read it before anything on the film adaptation makes it’s way to the mainstream. Without any reference for the characters it’s easy to make them who you want them to be. After you know who’s being cast, it spoils it. When I read it, it was me & my son on that road. Kind of hard to do that with (name withheld for those who haven’t found out) cast as the father already in your mind.


    14. This movie was shit. The ending pointless, stop trying to justify a movie which seemed to just fizzle out. What a waste of life.


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