Wednesday 18 June 2008

The Man Who Wasn't There [2001]

Despite being one of the most underrated works of the quirky Coen brothers, The Man Who Wasn't There is a compelling movie nonetheless. The first thing that one might realize about this film is that it is perhaps the most sedate effort of the eccentric brother duo. Yet, a few minutes into the monochrome movie and you’ll notice that every Coen signature is there – a terrific narrative, a refreshingly original storyline, heady dose of blackmail, deceit and murder, wry, black humour coupled with dark, noirish elements, the bleak amorality, plethora of some of the most ingenuous twists, brilliantly etched characters, great camera angles, and of course the subtle, mesmeric irony in the anti-climax. Every actor, be it Frances McDormand as the femme fatale, or James Gandolfini as the other guy, is excellent in their histrionics. But its Billy Bob Thorton’s eloquent turn as the laconic, mild mannered anti-hero who goes through the motions with no ethical attachments, that provides the most lasting impression.

Director: Joel and Ethan Coen
Genre: Crime Drama/Post Noir/Black Comedy/Americana
Language: English
Country: US

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