13. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)



Roger's Rating :


Should be :


I just watched this great movie again the other night and I was somewhat shocked when I looked up Roger's review afterward. Roger said :
If these elements don't exactly add up, maybe they're not intended to. Homer's epic grew out of the tales of many storytellers who went before; their episodes were timed and intended for a night's recitation. Quite possibly no one before Homer saw the developing work as a whole. In the same spirit, "O Brother" contains sequences that are wonderful in themselves--lovely short films--but the movie never really shapes itself into a whole.
It seems that Roger really understood what the film was about. It was such a wonderful and brave idea to try to write the story of the ancient Greeks in the Depression era south. Like the Odyssey, O Brother is a collection of adventures, and when you put them together they are wonderful.

At the end of his review Roger decided he really didn't get the movie anymore. He doesn't think the parts add up to a cohesive whole. He says :
All of these scenes are wonderful in their different ways, and yet I left the movie uncertain and unsatisfied. I saw it a second time, admired the same parts, left with the same feeling. I do not demand that all movies have a story to pull us from beginning to end, and indeed one of the charms of "The Big Lebowski," the Coens' previous film, is how its stoned hero loses track of the thread of his own life. But with "O Brother, Where Are Thou?" I had the sense of invention set adrift; of a series of bright ideas wondering why they had all been invited to the same film.
I totally disagree. The story is about Ulysses McGill who is trying to find his way home to stop his wife's impending marriage. He strings along his two comrades by telling them that there is a treasure waiting for them at the end of the adventure. Along the way they encounter a cyclops, sirens and monsters.
Even without the symbolism, the movie stands on its own as a great examination of the Depression era South. The film has a great look and feel to it and it also has some great bluegrass music, which in itself makes the movie worth viewing. The movie also has great acting and great dialogue ...
Roger only gives this great movie 2 1/2 stars and that is a crime.



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