What can the Coen Brothers not do?
In a jealous rage, Texas tavern owner Julian Marty (Dan Hedaya) hires unscrupulous private detective Loren Visser (M. Emmett Walsh) to not only tail Marty’s two-timing spouse(Frances McDormand, in her big-screen debut) but also murder her and her paramour (John Getz). But events take a surprising turn when the gumshoe double-crosses his client.
This is the directorial debut of the Coen Brothers, and I have got to say this is some of their best work I have ever seen. Put this up against Fargo, Big Lebowski, and Barton Fink, they are nothing compared to this film.
Let’s just say if you want a stylized film neo-noir you have one right here. The cinematography from Barry Sonenfield. There are just scenes where they just have one image throughout a whole scene, and then there is one scene where it literally jumps over a guy laying his head down at a bar. The camera feels like another person itself, and you are that person as the story goes on.
Though this is big in this film, the Coen Brothers never really let that get in the way of their great story they have here of double-crossing, and then double-double-crossing, and who’s really dead and who’s actually alive.
I liked how everything that happened, happened for a reason and went with the story. The scenes weren’t put in just to be funny or more bloody but put in to add to this amazing story.
The screenplay is what is really rich, and becomes so realistic by the end of the film, I’m wondering if this was based on a true story. There are elements of irony, black comedy, and dark words in the screenplay, and all of the touches really felt genuine and not just put on to change to mood a little bit.
The acting from M. Emmett Walsh is really magnificent. He plays this character that we don’t know if we should hate or like because though he is a hit man, and a low-life. He still has that little charm that makes this film reasonably funny. John Hedaya, is very good in this film as well, and I just wish there were more scenes with him the main power point of it.
There was only one problem that I didn’t like about the film and it was that the ending really did have me confused. When it ends you know there’s a point that the film is trying to make but it really didn’t come across me too well.
Consensus: The Coen Brother’s debut is slick, rich, and most of all creatively told, and features some of the best material from them I have ever seen.