Thursday, November 19, 2009

Accept the mystery - go see "A Serious Man"

I know some people cannot stand films by Coen brothers and others absolutely adore them. I have to confess that I fall in the latter category. Their latest, A Serious Man, is again a fantastically crafted film with a story that centers on uncertainty and death, and also on the rational and the mystical. The protagonist, Larry Gopnik, is a Jewish physics professor whose life has started to unravel - from his marriage to his tenure. The film centers on his search for explanations. He believes in the certainty of mathematics, and yet he mathematically demonstrates the Uncertainty Principle. Go check it out. And no, unlike No Country for Old Men or Fargo, or Miller's Crossing, this film does not contain any violence (well, almost any). The prologue of the film is in Yiddish and it sets up the movie perfectly. There is another phenomenal sequence in the middle of the film that deals with numerology and dentistry - and somehow it illustrates the theme(s) of the story wonderfully. I will leave it at that. When you watch the movie, also notice the score for the film. It has two melodies. It almost always starts with a light, bouncy music, but is quickly overlaid (and then often dominated) with a heavy, foreboding sound. Comic and dark. A perfect way to illustrate the world created by the Coen brothers.

Here is the preview of the film:

4 comments:

Matthew said...

I fall in the former category, although I confess that the wood chipper scene in Fargo is so wrong it's actually really funny. :)

Salman Hameed said...

C'mon. The Big Lebowski, Intolerable Cruelty and O'Brother Where Art Thou are all hilarious - and without any wood chipper scene... :)

Ageless North Shore said...

My friend Sachin and I saw "A Serious Man" and had very different takes. He is Hindu and I am Jewish.

Here is our review.
http://ageless-northshore.com/perplexed-serious-man/

Matthew said...

Oh, I forgot about The Big Lebowski, that gets a thumbs up.