Sunday, February 20, 2005

Barton Ahhhh

'Barton Fink' is another good Coen Brothers flick. It's the weirdest of their films, and falls in their dark comedy category. It follows the story of Barton Fink, played by John Tuturro, who is a playwrite who has a hit show in NY in 1941, which attracts the attention of Hollywood moguls. 'Capitol Pictures' offers Barton a lot of money to come write movies for them, and with persuasion from his agent, Barton agrees. So, off he goes to Hollywood, which is where the film gets weird. And if you read up to where I write 'All things considered...' you'll get some spoilers, so if you plan to watch the movie and you want to see it with a clean slate, read carefully. Once you get to the part in the movie where John Goodman's character(Charlie/Madman Munt) comes walzting down the hallway with a shotgun and blows away two cops, all the while the walls of the hallway catch fire as he walks, you realize that maybe that thought in the back of your head about this movie being a bit nutty becomes confirmed. By the end you get the sense that this Hollywood that Barton has entered in to is as close to Hell as you're gonna get here on earth. Once Goodman displays his otherworldly power, his disdain for most humans, and add in the fact that he posed as an insurance salesman you may think:
"Could it be...Satan?"
The answer is yes, maybe. He doesn't have to be Satan, he may be some sort of other horrid hellspawn demon.
All things considered, it's a good film with a weird ending that doesn't take away from the experience. After I watched it I looked up some things about it on-line and apparantly the Coen Brothers rushed through this script in 3 weeks as they were more involved in the 'Miller's Crossing' script at the time. After reading that and thinking about some of the dialogue in the film, I could see how that might have affected this script as the writing wasn't as connected as most other Coen projects. But as I said, this movie is a good one, check it out. It's dissapointing how after Lebowski the Coen's work has taken a turn for the worse. 'Oh Brother, Where Art Thou" was ok, and I haven't had the urge to watch it since I first saw it. Ditto for 'The Man Who Wasn't There." "Intolerable Cruelty" and "Ladykillers" were both 'misses' in the world of Coen. It seems their best work is behind them, but they've put out such great films that anything they do now that may be a bit 'eh', doesn't hurt their standing in my book.


Anonymous Jermaine O'neil said...

Ladykillers was the first Coen movie i saw that I didn't really like, but Intolerable Cruelty was great! Perhaps second only to Big L, placing it above Fargo, Man Who Wasn't There, Millers Crossing, and O Brother (slightly).

I've yet to see Barton Fink, but from your review i don't think it'll be knocking Clooney and Zeta-Jones-Douglas down from their coveted #2 spot in Coenland.

9:18 AM  
Blogger JRW said...

I must say that I enjoyed ladykillers

8:37 PM  

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