Review of Blood Simple
Blood Simple. is the Coen brothers film that I took a look at today, and right off the bat I’ve gotta say it was a lot better than I expected. The writing was a little strange as the motivations of some characters are questionable and there are few resolutions, but the way it is shot and the acting are both great. The characters that you are not supposed to like are pretty easy to hate and everyone else is somewhere on the spectrum but no one is “clean.” Oddly, this movie most closely reminds me of a Hitchcock movie that I watched last week The Trouble with Harry. If you haven’t seen Blood Simple. and are a fan of the Coens, then this is a film you will enjoy a look at.
As is typical for Coen brother offerings, the camera work is excellent. There are a few shots that make you think “wow, that was pretty clever” one in particular being a short sequence of Abby taking a look around the bar trying to gather what exactly happened to her husband then she starts to feel faint and ends up “falling” into bed in one smooth movement. Also, a favorite technique of BS is the use of one visual transitioning to another, very similar visual as a means of moving from scene to scene. For some reason (likely because it is easy to do) ceiling fans are used for this technique about 4 or 5 times throughout the film.
One thing that I do not understand about this film is the symbolism, or lack there of, in the things that are purposefully included in the movie. An example is, during 2 separate occasions (both in dialog scenes) a bug is seen crawling on the face of P.I. Visser and both he and the person speaking to him seem to be completely oblivious to its presence. At one point the bug is nearly in his eye and he hardly reacts. Sure, I could draw some kind of symbolism from it, but I would like to know what the actual intention from the Joel and Ethan was.