Sunday, December 2, 2007

no country for old men

go see this movie. but only if you're feeling particularly brave. it is not an easy ride. it's perfect, however. i mean, it's incredibly beautiful to look at ... and it's harrowing ... and intense ... and quiet ... and it goes deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep into the question of the human condition. the human soul. it's a godless universe. so where is meaning? how do we figure out what our lives are about?
javier bardem plays a villain that i can't make sense of. i would say he's the devil - but he's not. he's a man. i would say he's crazy, and he is, but not in a cartoony way - the person he embodies, Anton Chigurh, is ... possible. probable.
and in a world in which things have a certain right and wrong, and meaning - the country of old men, who have a sense of history and coherence and order - what do you do when a man who has principles, but not compassion, appears and takes whatever lives he thinks he must? he sees human beings as cattle. and yet he sees the world with what, for him, is clarity.
what does a man, in this case Tommy Lee Jones' character, Sheriff Bell, choose in the face of such amorality? no, amorality isn't the right word. that suggests that there are morals, and a lack of them.
in the country that isn't for old men, there are no morals from which to divert. there's just who chooses what when.
that's the question the movie explores.

it's a question the bible explores, too - as do all the great spiritual traditions.
go see it. and then lemme know what you think.

4 comments:

KJ said...

o, my goodness. loved this movie. Coen Brothers are freakin' brilliant. It's pretty complex. I need to see it again to take it all in. The line of good/bad seem to blur a little...maybe? Lots of people die. thought it interesting we only saw the "bad" people die.

have to see it again.

journeyingrick said...

i definitely need to see it again. this time i won't be cringing waiting to see who dies next. i'll just get to enjoy ...

Melinda said...

i was touched by this movie. i saw the evil character as "my enemy." he was completely unredeemable, he was inhuman. i wanted to see him fry. he embodied (transcended) all the assholes and mean people i have ever encountered in life. and yet.

i have a kid in prison for violent crime. i was thinking about how glad i was that my son hadn't done shit like *that*.

it hits me: but for the grace of god, i go there. when i surrender to despair and the absolute nothingness of my life, i am hopeless and have no conscience. morals are irrelevant, and i'm chasing a strange, dark mission that only i understand.

anyway...i really liked this movie. so riveting.

journeyingrick said...

i think that's one of the most powerful things about that movie - here that man is, right here, among us - he is a part of us, each of us - and to look at him, and stare him down, as grace abounds, within us - that's powerful. and it helps me, to remember that.