O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) – A Man of Constant Sorrow

After the Coen brothers deceive you with the true story of “Fargo,” “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” is one of the typical Coen brothers movies in general. This time, they adapt Homer’s “The Odyssey.” It’s a Greek epic poem and a sequel to “The Iliad.” Homer composing it near the end of the 8th century BC. The Coen brothers don’t separate their trademarks. This film indulges in various forms of comedy as well as criticism that is so unique, weird, and smart.

I thought “Fargo” was one of their famous films. For me, the film doesn’t really pull me in. Probably, my favorite is “No Country for Old Men” and “Burn After Reading.” Because of this film, George Clooney also received the Golden Globe award for the first time in the category of Best Actor Musical or Comedy. Still, “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” included in one of my personal favorite Coen brothers films. This film brings so much inspiration in a unique form and has a stunning script.

This is a journey of adventures by an idiotic friendly trio: George Clooney as Everett, John Turturro as Pete Hogwallop, and Tim Blake Nelson as Delmar O’Donnell. It takes place in Mississippi during the Depression era. The trio has the purpose of taking a hidden treasure somewhere. They only have a few days before the hiding place sinks because of the artificial lake project. So from here, they began their journey. On the way, they met various kinds of strange people. There was George ‘Babyface’ Nelson who was a ‘robber’ bank (sentence of killing a cow), Tommy Johnson as a Robert Johnson-inspired character, John Goodman as a Bible salesman, KKK,¬†and various another twist.

At the same time, they must continue to escape from the pursuit of the police. “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” impressed by its thick music with bluegrass and country vibes.¬†This film comes with a comical yet memorable nuance. But, not for everyone. “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” using a concept that is indeed similar to “The Odyssey”. All the character has its own similarities such as the sirens, the Cyclops, and even the main characters along with their fate. Apart from which, the Coen brothers prefer to assemble it in their own way rather than reading “The Odyssey” first.

Every twist and surprise doesn’t only arise from the plot it told but the performance from George Clooney, John Turturro, and Tim Blake Nelson. Especially, George Clooney, he shows a cool and calm characteristic. Being a more disheveled man, his ridiculous behavior provoked laughter. His character as Everett initially feels off-screen compared to his two colleagues. We know him when the story will further expand its surroundings. We will know him better and see him more than his other two friends.

John Turturro is great as well as Tim Blake Nelson. Tim Blake Nelson is also one of the actors who enlivens characters. He explores his alive character and more unique than others. In my opinion, the scene where he thinks that Pete is a frog has its own quote. “We thought you were a toad,” Nelson said as the most idiot character ever. The three characters seem to take inspiration from The Three Stooges.

The Coen brothers seem to like black comedy and satire. “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” criticizing matters relating to religion. In the scene when they baptism themselves from sin, they are relieving that their sin is clean. Except for Everett, he said that maybe their sins and mistakes were forgiven. But, humans can punish you before your eyes. There is also John Goodman as Big Dan Teague or a Bible salesman who took their money and participated in the KKK ceremony.

Holly Hunter as Penny ties all of her daughters from behind seems cute. “The only good thing you ever did for the gals was getting hit by that train!” said her to Everett. The movie has an interconnected way of discussing the relationship between humans and God. At the end of the scene, their prayers were answered even though it wasn’t the treasure they had been looking for.

Everything in this movie is such a memorable moment. I like it when the trio forms the Soggy Bottom Boys. They introduced their hits along with Tommy Johnson who had sold his soul to the devil. Bringing a lot of happiness from the radio, they are famous for using false beards but people certainly love it. The choreography from the KKK rally is just one of the best. Shown in a funny way, the aura that was built was certainly rather terrifying, especially when it was sung with a blues song. Just play and sing John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Home” when a disaster occurs at yours. It fits with the irony just like the scene. In addition, the film mostly uses the characterization of blind people as unique people. Some are wise, deceitful, and aid providers.

Roger Deakins as a cinematographer just killed it in this movie. Again, he showed a fantastic job as a cinematographer. Describing the rural atmosphere in the 1930s, this film feels thick with a typical country atmosphere but with the impression of the Coen brothers themselves. T Bone Burnett’s score also brings a variety of nuances to country music and blues. It has the same thing with the cinematography and directing that is so amazing. The Coen brothers also wrote this film in a fast-paced way. There are several thick words that old-English as well as how they pronounce it.

I just love everything in this film. It brings a wonderful theme in a different way and the types of the Coen brothers. This film was set free. “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” is a satire that can be enjoyed with a variety of surprises, weirdness, and humor of black comedy. Insinuating society, religion, and politics (of course), this film impresses memorable. The performance of the actor is so amazing and idiotic. I thought, “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” is a film that illuminates a unique idea from its genre.

4.5 out of 5 stars.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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