No Country for Old Men ★★★★★

Film #10 of December Challenge 2013

Words are hard to find after watching No Country for Old Men for the first time.... how a film can be so violent yet tackle themes in such a serene manner is absolutely surreal. It is menacing in the most tranquil way, and it is for this reason that it is so memorable.

The minimalism of this film is certainly one of the first things I noticed and admired, from the lack of score, to the particular quality of quietness of scenery (let's not even get into Deakin's cinematography - I think we can all agree that man is a genius). It creates such tension, building up the simplistic plot of a cat-mouse game - no matter how ready you think you are for a gun shot or some act of violence, the stillness of the setting holds you back from expecting it. There is something beautiful in the way that the Coen Brothers have depicted this film in such a manner however, the eerie silence of actions translates into powerful thematic messages, stemming from fate, destiny and the rapidly changing world.

The cast are all top-notch, and Javier Bardem gives a shiveringly cold portrayal of a character personified as 'change' - Chigurch - highlighting the undeniable and unpreventable reform of a country that needs to happen in order for society to progress. From symbols of the coin, to the abrupt metaphorical ending (which was such a brilliant way to end the film) - No Country for Old Men is a strikingly powerful allegorical film that I know will only continue to drive additional meaning the more I watch it.

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