No Country For Old Men Review GCSE
No Country for Old Men review. By Sophy Meah
No Country for Old Men is a 2007 American thriller written and directed by brothers, Joel and Ethan Coen, based on the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name.
A pitch-perfect thriller that delivers the pleasurable fear and suspense expected of the genre.
First of all, take the title literally: this is No Country for Old Men. It may be no country for any life form more evolved than a Mexican lizard (we're talking West Texas here.) The landscape is as bleak as the moon's dark side and its relatively few inhabitants lead lives that are scrubbed down to the basics. That is to say, it is pretty much kill, or be killed in the Coen brothers version of the austere novel.
We're in West Texas, 1980. Vietnam veteran, Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) appears out hunting pronghorn (a type of deer - just to let you know) in the desert down by the Mexican border. However, in the distance, there seems to be carnage: torn-apart trucks; corpses of men and dogs; the bloody bodies of others who’d be better off dead and a case packed with cash: about two million dollars. With no witnesses, and confident he can handle himself, Moss opts to keep what’s clearly payment in a drugs-handover gone awry. Trouble is, psychopathic hitman Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) is hired to find the loot and begins carefully hunting the hunter, in turn pursued by veteran sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones), who can’t help feeling that the world is turning more crazily violent. This is when the cat-and-mouse chase begins.
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The Coens meticulously select the most filmic moments of McCarthy’s gripping book novel; they trim the sheriff’s nostalgic reveries and enhance the action. Their achievements (it must be said) of trying to embellish the action was phenomenal. Miraculously, they transformed the novel into a full-blown piece of drama, full of vivid, plausible characters.
Talking about plausible characters, the performances from the cast were all uniformly superb, but Javier Bardem stood out. The eyes are drawn to his portrayal of a twisted sickness that he manages to convey in his cold, sunken eyes and callous demeanour. Great job, Javier, for such excellent acting, but not forgetting the other actors who also did a great job too.
Eventhough the whole movie was amazing, the scene that was most prominent was the gas station scene. Obviously, was the most spine-tingling, menacing moments of the whole entire film. When the elderly rural gas station owner was sought to have good fortune, as his call on Anton's coin flip saved his life. Guiltily, I did find this part unintentionally funny, but only because of the very awkwardly personal questions that were asked. Other than this, it was a very austere moment.
The only thing that was unexpected was the ending, which sets the scene for the bad character who we have gradually started to hate more and more ultimately gets away; without the satisfaction of a bloody climax where he is beaten or shot to death. However, happy endings are for boring people, so I appreciate this type of artistic ending.
To summarise, the themes of violence, murder, greed, drugs, and coldhearted villains play major roles throughout No Country for Old Men; but the theme that ties them together is the pessimistic belief that there is little anyone can do about any of these negative sides of human nature. There is evil in the world ( as Sheriff Bell blatantly continues to remind the audience) and wishing it away just will not get it done.
I would most definitely recommend this film, but to those who have my kind of taste in a film. The film is spectacular, which is why it is my favourite movie, but don't expect too much drama. There are some awkward scenes with not much going on, but don't blame anyone; that's what makes it realistic. So overall, the film is brilliant if you are patient and can listen carefully