Monday, 25 November 2013




A deep in debt car salesman asks a pair of criminals to kidnap his wife in exchange for a car, what’s in it for him? The kidnappers will receive a large amount of ransom money from the woman’s wealthy father; then the crooks will keep a share and give the rest of the money to the car salesman so he can pay off his debt…simple, if everything goes to plan!

In many ways Fargo is a film that defines the Coen brothers work from the point of view of both the style, and the narrative. The plot develops in ways that are always surprising. Playfully it disorientates its viewer with unexpected, unpredictable and often shocking twists in its sinister story. As soon as you think you’ve got your bearings a character will suddenly be killed off, and you’ll be clueless as to how the story will continue to unfold. These sudden events are highly effective and work to the films advantage.

Despite the Coen’s nature to be dark and sinister there’s a lot of warmth and morality to Fargo. Whilst the two crooks are killing senselessly to solve their problems, perhaps the Coen brothers most delightful and down to earth character ever (Police Chief Marge Gunderson) is tracking them down and being pleasant and polite whilst she does it. The character Marge is brilliant and is an antidote to all the evil in this film, Frances McDormand was practically made for the part and it’s no wonder she won an Oscar for her performance, she definitely deserved it.

Fargo is one occasion where all the quirks and qualities of a Coen Brothers film, work together in perfect harmony. It’s witty, it’s gritty and it doesn’t come across as superior or pretentious in its intellect.                  


  1. It doesn't sound like my kind of film - I like a bit of intellectual superiority! Anyway an interesting review, it made me look up the Coen brothers who I was sure should be spelt Cohen! I notice though that like Woody Allen and Mike Leigh they are of Jewish origin. I don't think I have ever seen any of their films, but No Country for Old Men, was one I intended to see but missed. You have interested me enough to make me have a look for the DVD.

  2. Whilst they are not always all as good as Fargo any coen brothers film is worth a watch. To this day they are still making films that are succesfull and inventive.