As it turns out, I am just not a fan of the Coen Brothers. These guys get tons of rave reviews and people praise them as geniuses, and maybe they are, but I don’t get it. I will admit I have enjoyed some of their work, namely True Grit and O’ Brother Where Art Thou, but in the case of Burn After Reading and No Country for Old Men (which I just finished) I am only left with a sense of being cheated of my time. The movies seem well put together, well acted, well filmed, but the entire product is less than the sum of what I was sold. In part I can blame previews, particularly with Burn After Reading, the previews sold me a goofy comedy with some spy intrigue. Instead I am handed a gore filled two hours of discomfort with only a few brief glimpses of humor, after which the only likable character is executed. With No Country for Old Men I was sold a crime thriller, a scary movie as it where, a type of movie that often has a plot and some resolution. Instead I am given an overly long character study, in which the only truly charismatic and likable character is left scratching his head and bored, meanwhile everyone else dies for seemingly no reason and nothing is resolved. As a viewer, I am left believing that my time spent is worthless and carries no value for the creator, they seem to have no interest in satisfying me or rewarding me for participating/investing time in their creation.
In many ways this goes back to my earlier post regarding ‘Write what you read’. I already know that the world is full of awful people and awful circumstances. When I partake in escapist entertainment, it is my intention that I actually get to escape the real world, even if only for a little while. Clearly I was wrong to expect that from Coen Brother’s work. I have been fooled twice, shame on me, I suppose.