Friday, March 6, 2009

No Country for Old Men

The best motion picture of the year was this movie. I did not want to see it since the way it was described to me, it seemed their was more evil than good and therefore not something I felt like seeing. I did not know Woody Harrelson was in the movie as he plays Carson Wells-a bounty hunter. He is hunting or is paid to hunt a professional in the drug selling business who is also a psychopath to boot. Javier Bardem is this person and he plays Anton Chigurh. Anton is fundamental psychopath who has a unique way of killing people. He kills them with air pressure with a CO2 canister. I am not sure why people get out of the car but they do. Perhaps they are frozen with uncertainty and fear.

Tommy Lee Jones plays Sheriff Ed Tom Bell who is the narrator of this movie and he is also trying to figure out what is happening since dead bodies are popping up all over his jurisdiction. He is not sure who is responsible or why this is occuring. Well, not entirely, a bunch of drug sellers are found shot in the desert with their pit bulls and strong trucks. Not nice fellows. But Anton using his silencer sniper rifle took these guys out apparently. This is not shown but it is evident when he is firing pinpoint rounds at the truck Josh Brolin who plays Llewelyn Moss is driving. Brolin is driving the truck since Anton sniped him out of no where in the middle of the night with his high powered sniper rifle. Intense and frightening scene.

This movie is packed with excitement and is riveting. I can see why it won Best Picture. Daniel Day Lewis's movie was runner up-There Will Be Blood-had too much strange music to win. I saw this movie instead of Old Men but that is because Lewis has made wonderful movies and everything he does-like the old Jodie Foster-turns to gold. The Departed was exceptional as well. I would have to flip a coin between that at Old Men. The Departed's script was incredible and the music just as impressive. A lot of good one lingers in the movie and Walhberg and DiCaprio both had some strong and memorable scenes. A few are just awesome.

I like this movie and was surprised that Jones does not hog more scenes. But Brolin is just spectacular. He is just a lone ranger, not a winner or educated person, hunting some meat out in the desert when he comes across a drug deal gone bad. Drug dealers dead every where, Mexican drug runners all shot up and one pick up has a bed full of cocaine in wrapped plastic bags. Brolin finds the case full of money/cash. He does some bright things after this but does not cover all his bases. He tells his wife she needs to leave town but he does not cancel his mail. Most importantly, he does not switch bags. That cash bag needs to be changed. I do not care of there was a tracking device or not hidden in one of the cash folds which there was. That black case has to go in favor of of a hiking backpack. But he is pretty bright how he handles the taxi drivers, where he hides the cash in the hotel, buying weapons, etc.

This is where Anton gives chase from hotel to hotel as he wants the money and Brolin dead as well, or at least the former. So Anton is just a normal psychopath, at least he has a job and recognizes the value of money. Albeit his job involves killing people and I am not sure if there is a normal psychopath. Everyone is a true and am I sure fascinating to some case study.

The movie does not have a happy ending, but that depends on how one looks at it. An entire squadron of killers or drug dealers are killed by each other and Anton. A long with many of good and honest folks. Anton eliminates Wells all too easily. After Wells finds and locates the money he is sure nonchalant about grabbing it. I guess he wanted to change clothes since going down in the weeds and bushes to retrieve the black suitcase that houses the money and this is where Brolin toss the money to hide it. It was hidden at night, but not when the sun is straight up.

I guess the moral of the story is that not all evil can be captured nor tamed. Anton is blasted by a sloppy driver but just walks off after purchasing some boy's shirt to use as a sling for his arm. This movie presents evil in it's trust form, it does not need music to add to his apparetness. Brolin's wife did not walk away unscathed despite Brolin being shot up by drug dealers. Brolin, why he is pretty good at covering his tracks and taking care of himself, is not so keen on switching money cases. That would seem the most obvious to me.

Another peculiar thing is Anton shooting up the drug runners in the desert but does not pursue and drive away with the money then. He snipes them from afar, and then just goes away? I would like to have explanation on that minor but story creating detail.

This movie was exceptional. Was it better than the more recent Seven Pounds or Slumdog Millionaire? I am not sure. They were all spectacular and I think Seven Pounds should have been nominated for an award at the Oscars. Old Men's travails opened many doors and there were many matters proposed that could be a subject of discussion by itself. There were some funny moments, including, but not limited too, when Brolin forgot that his mother had already wandered away from this world. I guess he did not think about that too much.

I give this movie five stars.*****

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