Sunday, September 4, 2016

O Brother Where Art Thou

Movie Name: O Brother Where Art Thou
Year of Release: 2000
Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Stars: George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, John Goodman, Holly Hunter, Charles Durning, Michael Badaluco, Chris Thomas King, Wayne Duvall, Brian Reddy, Ed Gale
Genre: Adventure, Comedy
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7
Watch it on Amazon

The Coen brothers followed their critically successful films from the late 90s, "Fargo" and "The Big Lebowski", with another comedy that proved to be another hit. The film, loosely inspired by Homer's epic poem "Odyssey", follows the story of Ulisses Everett and his two accomplices, Pete and Delmar, all three escapees from a chain gang (the story takes place in Mississipi during the Great Depression). Everett convinces his pals he knows of a treasure, and that together they can escape their captivity and divide the profits. During their attempt to retrieve the treasure, they are put through a series of ordeals, and meet all matters of different people, including the talented Tommy, a young black man, who is a talented musician. In the end, Everett wants to win back his wife Penny, but even that ends up being a dangerous mission to accomplish.
The Coen brothers have created throughout their careers a body of work that is distinct and much their own. Their universe is a mix of the comedy of the absurd, surrealism, and inspiration from the Hollywood classics (among other themes). "O Brother Where Art Thou" mixes a lot of these themes and distills them into a comedy that is quite successful. The film captures the challenges of the Great Depression, while also shedding a light on the political and social issues of the American South. Everything is wrapped in a slapstick style which eases some of the more grotesque elements that it depicts. The film features a great cast with highlights going to the usual troupe that works with the directors, namely George Clooney, John Turturro, Holly Hunter, John Goodman and Charles Durning. The cinematography from the fantastic Roger Deakins is stunning and the score from T Bone Burnett is now a classic. A good film always worth revisiting.