Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Fargo - Movie Review

On the list of must-watches for long. Once again I wonder at the ingenuity of the Coen brothers. The story leaves you so uncertain about its future, not because of the situation, but because the characters have been built that way. Crazy fellows.

A Minneapolis car salesman trying to get over some requirement for money (played brilliantly by William Macy), hiring two crazy criminals to kidnap his wife so he can extort money from his tough father in law sounds like a crazy enough premise. But the superbly built characters take over after that. One of the two criminals is a garrulous and edgy type, while the other is quiet to a fault and swift in action. The kidnap done smoothly, they are going back to the hideout when a police car stops them. The weird, small one messes up - and the quiet big one blows off the cops head. That's when you realise you're set for a crazy ride. Within a couple more minutes the big guy bumps off two other passing witnesses and we are now left with three murders on our hands and not too convincing a reason for them. You're feeling pretty uncertain already.

Frances McDormund is seven months pregnant  and the police chief of the town and she is one smart cookie as she pursues her leads in a logical manner. Meanwhile the car salesman tries to double cross the kidnappers whom he promised 80k and asks for a ransom of 1 million. Too smart for his own good! Murders, bodies in wood chippers, this and that, and finally one of the killers (guess who) and the car salesman are caught. The wife is killed, father in law in killed, and the salesman's young son is left alone while he goes to jail.

Interestingly the movie opens with the lines - based on a real story. It's not. It's a collection of real incidents claim the writers, made into one story. The story is inspired by a real life wood chipper incident where a philandering airline pilot murdered his wife and cut her up into small pieces using a wood chipper. The case apparently was the first to be tried where no body was found. (In the movie the strong, big criminal feeds the weird, small criminal into the wood chipper when he is caught by the police chief. Pretty stuff.)

The idea behind saying that it is based on a real life story was interesting - that people are more prone to accept a weird story when it is claimed to be based on a real story. Interesting thought - that we accept a lot more nonsense if we are told that it's based on real life stuff.

But Fargo, very nice. Bit gory but nice. Now, the Godfather trilogy!

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