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Coen Brothers’ films: More than meets the eyes

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A film has a lot more to say and offer than just the audio and visuals on the screen if you delve deeper into it. There’s a projection of vivid imaginations and ideas of every creative individual attached to a particular film.

Every subtle decision in filmmaking has a deeper and lasting impact which sometimes isn’t as tangible as we would like it to be, still it lurks in the depths of the things we often fail to realize.

If we take a look at the filmography of the Coen Brothers we see that there is a certain trait that follows in most of their films, the way their cinematic world is shown is distinctive and unique. It certainly has become a tell-tale sign of their film. The way they block a scene can be easily termed as adding a fantasy element to the otherwise mundane everyday life. In THE BIG LEBOWSKI by the time we understand what’s going on and how the characters react, we understand them by just looking around them. Though two of the main characters have the same name, their personality is profoundly emphasized in the background and the atmosphere they surround themselves in.

Other characters have their own traits but the visual comparisons of two people with contrasting nature with the same name, misunderstood to be each other, cannot be simply ignored.  In their film NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN Anton Chigurh is shown as a ruthless assassin but there’s a humanizing side to his character as well. It isn’t one dimensional as we’ve been bombarded with the recent films which lack any character depth lately. As is the case with the film, A SERIOUS MAN, we see an orthodox Jewish man trying his best to take control of his life and failing miserably. This has been done over and over by many filmmakers but the Coen Brothers rendition of the subject speaks volumes when it adds a mystique to the unpredictability of a regular life.

It’s their story telling approach where we find ourselves involved, where we can relate to each character and believe in the minuscule attributes that separate the veterans from the amateurs.

Their films have a visual language of their own which screams out loud without touching upon the narrative of the film or distracting us from the story. Their frequent collaboration with cinematographer Roger Deakins solidifies the assumption that only a handpicked people try to think beyond the ordinary and that a film is more than just lights, camera and a bunch of people in one frame. A film by them is a new chapter in their ever evolving cinematic world.

 

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