A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
There are quirky comedies that attempt to become too much. As a result, they crash and burn in a flaming pile of disappointment. The dialogue becomes alienating, the relatable qualities of the characters disappear and the experience becomes unsatisfying and frustrating.
Thankfully, the Coen brothers know how to film a crazy, entertaining joy ride of comedic endeavours. “The Big Lebowski”, one of their most recognised pictures, is just that.
Jeff‘The Dude’ Lebowski, played exceptionally by the marvellous Jeff Bridges is your archetypal schmo. He drinks, he bowls, he smokes pot and he epitomises the term ‘slacker’.
Laid back and content with himself, ‘The Dude’ has his rather anti-chaotic world turned upside down when he’s mistaken for an exceeding multi-millionaire of the same name. Seeking justice for a prized possession of his from the other Mr. Lebowski, ‘The Dude’ is swindled into running errands for the millionaire, and along the way, with his good friend Walter (John Goodman) by his side, he bumps into some perplexing characters and scenarios.
I have an appreciation for “The Big Lebowski”, I studied it last year at university and developed an incredible love for it’s wackiness, structure and overall uniqueness as a comedy. As soon as the comeback line of the century was spoken, that being “Yeah, well, that’s just like, your opinion, man”, I knew this was something special.
Steve Buscemi, David Huddleston, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and even Flea from The Red Hot Chili Peppers make appearances throughout, and my word, they are superb!
Not only is the cast star studded, but the chemistry and believability of these cartoonish figures is flawlessly executed.
The first time I watched “The Big Lebowski”, I wasn’t overly impressed to tell the truth. However, I knew back in the back of my mind that what I witnessing was a definitive comedic picture, and that I would one day grow to appreciate it in all it’s glory. That day came about two days later when I watched it for the second time.
The way things play out in “The Big Lebowski” is such a joy to watch, and it defines the art of constructing a clever, chaotic comedy.
With emotion, sympathy and poignancy sprinkled throughout, the levels of “The Big Lebowski” change too, and it’s a credit to the screenwriters and photographic team to masterfully accompany one another in the final product – once again, like “Burn After Reading”, could definitely see this ambitious Coen Brothers picture flopping if not executed as perfectly as it was.
Jeff Bridges is at career best as ‘The Dude’, one of modern cinema’s greatest leading characters. The supporting cast are perfect, and the experience above all is something, just, special.
It’s a classic case of mistaken identity, but this film has White Russians and bowling! Beat that!