16 November 2007 | lucasaq-1
"You don't have to do this."
"You don't have to do this," repeated words in this lingering film, which really does not feel like a typical Coen Brothers film to me. Fargo, had its quirky character and its grotesque moments, but this film is all about a subdued natured intermixed with quick action. For what I expected, I got some of it, but also a bit more of a subdued air and timing than I expected. It would do things in spurts, action at the beginning then a lull and more thunder. It worked great for keeping one on edge, which Brolin did, excellently in the lead role lying awake thinking too hard. Jones too was good in a strong supporting role as a close to retirement sheriff who is on the outside shaking his head at the carnage and mayhem unleashed by the simple finding and taking of a satchel full of money.
The real gem and glue of the film though is Javier Bardem's menacing character who has his own brand of justice, which is extremely harsh and well insane. Even the one who claims to know him cannot even begin to stop or even slow him down. Bardem whom I have not had the pleasure of seeing in anything before is gold and like no other before looks to have the supporting actor award locked up in this performance. His presence is felt, even when he does not show up. That is something I have not seen in film well since probably The Third Man and Orson Welles' character Harry Lime.
I cannot really describe the film that well so I will suffice to say that is best modern western tale I have seen since The Three Burials of Melquiades, which also happened to have Tommy Lee Jones and was directed by him to boot. Another thing I noted was the lack of strong score. The filmmakers just seemed to let the sounds of the creaking boots and the desert landscape speak for the film. It felt natural and a bit menacing.