Saturday, November 5, 2016

Fargo (1996)

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Writers: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
DOP: Roger Deakins
Cast: Frances McDormand, William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi 

Jerry Lundegaard's (William H. Macy) inept crime falls apart due to his and his henchmen's constant bungling and persistent police work of the quite pregnant Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand).

I consider myself to be part of what I call 'outsourced subprime crisis generation'. Meaning that we got a lot of free time due to the fact that we graduated in 2008. This helped us in getting a chance to take a thorough look into the wide world of foreign language cinema. This and the perfect timing of BSNL Broadband (jeez that 2-8AM unlimited download plan!) taking off in a big way around that period. The rite of passage quite often involved starting off with IMDB's top 250 list. You'll learn with experience that IMDB is a crock of shit (stupidity of masses) but that top 250 list was always a good place to start. That is how I remember stumbling on to Fargo and the filmography of Coen Brothers' who are either second or third in my list of favourite directors, depending on my mood, along with Michael Haneke.

Their filmography have been quite amazing from the get go but it was Fargo's success that brought them their limelight. It won them best director award at Cannes and an academy award for best original screenplay. Film is famous for its cold Minnesota setting and very distinctive accent (Yah, you betcha!). Stunning cinematography from Roger Deakins is a given and the excellent BGM was something that I caught on to on rewatch. Events that happen in the film are quite horrific but is depicted in a comedic folksy manner. It is based on a true event but the characterisation is fictional. So you have quite contradicting disclaimers when you go from opening credits to closing credits. Performances from the cast is excellent and the film has spawned a TV series and the Japanese film  Kumiko: The Treasure Hunter.

If I were to rank Coen Bros films that I've watched, it would go something like this:

1. The Big Lebowski
2. Blood Simple
3. No Country for Old Men
4. Fargo
5. Inside Llewyn Davis
6. O brother, where art thou?
6. Raising Arizona
7. Miller's Crossing
8. Hudsucker Proxy
9. True Grit
10. Burn After Reading
11. Barton Fink
12. Intolerable Cruelty

Rating: 5/5