1The movie starts off with a narration from Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) where he relates about the times he has had being a Sheriff. He goes on to talk about a 14 year old boy who was condemned to death for killing a girl. When asked he confessed to have killed her for he just wanted to kill for as long as he could care to remember. As the narration continues we see an officer arrest a guy, who we later come to know as Anton Chigurh(Javier Bardem) , and his subsequent escape  after strangling the officer. He jacks a car a few moments later after killing an old man with a strange contraption having an oxygen cylinder at its end. This sequence sets up the mood for what is to follow.

The narrative quickly shifts over to the American landscape where Llewelyn Moss(Josh Brolin) is on hunt for game. He stumbles upon a drug deal gone bad a huge cache of drugs and cash at his disposal. He makes way with the cash knowing little about who he is about to displease. Llewelyn does a stupid thing which puts him face to face with his adversaries and most importantly Anton Chigurh. he sends his wife to her mother and starts hopping from one motel to another with the cash not knowing that the cash has a transmitter in it which leads Anton straight to his doorsteps. What follows is a pulse pounding and nerve wracking cat and mouse game in which the fortunes swing from one side to another in the blink of an eye. Will Llewelyn be bale to geta way cleanly or will Anton get his hands on the cash? This question drives the narrative of  No Country For Old Men.

2No Country For Old Men is in keeping with the Coen brothers earlier films but is far more violent. The drama is engaging. There are sequences which is sure to sure to stick in your thoughts and linger with you long after the movie is over. take for instance the sequence which takes place between Anton and a mart owner. The owner tries to start a chit chat with Chigurh not knowing his mental state. the discussion reaches a state where Chigurh forces the owner to take a coin toss for everything that he has referring to in this case to his life. the owner wins the toss and Chigurh gives him the coin telling him to keep it as it was his good luck charm.

This sequence doesnt have much to do as far as the narrative and the story is concerned and neither does it take the narrative anywhere. However this sequence gives us an insight into the criminal and almost unforgiving psyche of Chigurh developing his character and making him that much more scary for us to be afraid of when he gets into a duel with Llewelyn.There is another sequence between Anton Chigurh and Carla Jean Moss(Kelly Macdonald) who happens to be Llewelyn’s wife. Coming almost at the end of the movie, this sequence is sure to leave you dumbstruck. the fact that the screenplay doesnt show how the conversation ends and it is lefty up to our imagination makes it even more affective.

The story and screenplay are the forte of No Country For Old Men. The way the story unfolds and the high drama involving the principle cast is amazingly captivating. The long conversations between the characters will not bore you. Even the actions happen as a result of charged emotions and not just as inevitable even though they are. The brutality is on you face. The Coen brothers have not tried to hold anything back. Some of the sequences like the final scene where Anton lands up in a n accident and has his arm broken will leave you awestruck simply by its timing. Llewelyn’ end is equally shocking. No one would have expected the protagonist to end up dead at a time when he does. The Coen Brother defy the cinematic conventions of developing a character and persisting with it by developing Llewelyn thoroughly 3and then trashing him a moment. These little things add up to the greatness of No Country For Old Men’s greatness.

Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh is revelation. His portrayal of the antagonist even though is a far cry from the over the top baddies that we are used to but will surely rank as one of the most cold, vile and sadistic depiction of  Hollywood baddie. He is evenly matched by Josh Brolin’s Llewelyn. however the way Chigurh’s character is written leaves Brolin’s Llewelyn out to dry. Not that he could have done anything about it. Tommy Lee Jones is classy. look out for the sequence where he holds a discussion with Carla Jean Moss to make her give up Llewelyn’s whereabouts and also the final scene. simply outstanding. Woody Harrelson is noticeable in a cameo.

I first saw No Country For Old Men in 2008 and honestly speaking I didn’t like it a bit. But over the years as I have grown in maturity, this film has grown on me as well. Finally I have been able to understand its overtones and what the directors have tried to convey. It surely was worthy of the Best Picture Oscar that it got and I so much doubted. No Country For Old Men is entertaining and enlightening in every sense of the term. a must watch for every movie lover.

One Comment Add yours

  1. subhra says:

    the ending with Tommy Lee Jones narrating his dream to his wife is just pure brilliance.
    this is Coen Brothers at their peak. spectacular celluloid!


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