Review and analysis of The Big Lebowski
Today was day 2 of my look at Coen brothers’ films and it was one that seems is a favorite of almost everyone The Big Lebowski. For some reason, when I was younger I always got this movie mixed up with Kingpin, a much MUCH worse movie. Maybe bowling is the only thing that stood out to me as a kid in either film, but the 2 are completely different in tone and style. Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of this film. There is plenty of weird stuff that happens, funny moments, great lines, and pretty much all the puzzle pieces that turn a movie into a cult classic, so I do not have a difficult time seeing why others like it so much. That is not to say that I don’t enjoy watching The Dude casually cruise his way through almost anything, but I do prefer a bit more substance.
One thing that I noticed while watching TBL this time is just how many push/pull shots there are in this film. One thing that I like about the style is most of the time characters are centered in the screen, something which seems to not be the norm, but that I feel adds a lot of intimacy to a movie. Because the characters are centered, every time they move forward or back the camera follows which means that the amount of push in and pull out shots is pretty unreal. The shots do not seem unnatural, but the repetition is very noticeable.
One more thing, what was the deal with Jesus? I mean, there was a great intro to the guy and his short shots throughout the film from that point forward are funny, but why have him in the plot in the first place if there was going to be no meaningful interactions. Maybe I missed something? I was a little distracted while watching but it seems like a character who was originally going to go somewhere in the original script, then the rewrites just cut any role he had in the plot. Not sure what the significance was there, but then again, the Coens do have some strange things in their movies, so I guess I’ll just chalk it up to that.