Saturday, March 20, 2010

My Momentarily Definitive Coen List: #9

I think I would perceive"O Brother, Where Art Thou" as something quite distasteful if it weren't so darn watchable.
Who would have ever guessed that a depression era soundtrack would be the beez-kneez?  
Not I... not I.

Take Homer's Odyssey.  
Did you grab it?  
You got it?  
Is it in your hands? 
Can we check that? 

remove the myriad of soap opera-esque gods
of the seas, lands, and skies.  
Leave their spots vacant for a moment. 
Picture Odysseus 
roaming around the Greecian seas without that pesky polytheistic vibe causing mayhem
in the form of
seven headed monsters, 
one-eyed giants, 
and those deadly
singing sirens. 
Odysseus, just by the sheer fact that his opponents are now only the natural world and the limits of his own intellect, himself falls to earth.  He becomes a plebian figure.  In other words, 
he becomes George Clooney.

Now, hopefully you didn't you condense your now-godless edition of 
"The Odyssey" down to mere paragraphs just yet.  
You didn't, right?  
Because we've got some substitutes.  
In lieu of our polytheistic universe, we are supplanting in its stead, 
the dualistic Christian worldview.  
So you've got 
the devil's minions running about,
a litany of salvific followers of the big God fella, 
and two arch-rivals, 
Satan and God, 
pawning around with the 
chessboard of the human race 
amongst a dust bowl south.  

Happy times, no?  
(I never really understood why the Big Baddie was represented by the Eyeless Boss from "Cool Hand Luke".  But that fella is effective, I reckon.) 
Personally, the ending of this one strikes me as a bit monotone.  Why would a smart schmuck like Everett Ulysses care to stay with such a demanding wife?  It almost has a sprinkling of Voltaire's "Candide" in there, but yet, Everett seems content enough by story's end.  It just feels like there's nothing left to do.  I want to play with the God's some more, not settle down to quiet life with an arsenal of singing children.  I don't want to cultivate my garden.  I want to fight.  And I want Ulysses to fight by my side.  

Oh well, I'll just start the movie over again, and begin the journey anew.  It's so darn watchable, after all.

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