Ever since No Country for Old Men, I’ve had a hardon for the Coen Brothers. Though I had seen O Brother Where Art Thou before knowing their names, No Country was truly my first Coen Brothers film. I knew who they were at that point…
And, with Blood simple., I have completely fallen head over heels in love with their works. (Well, okay, except the Ladykillers. That movie sucked.)
Blood simple is anything but simple. When Abby (I guess Frances McDormand was hot when she was younger. Who the hell knew) and Ray start fooling around at random, there’s already a Private Investigator hired to follow her. Abby’s husband, Marty, doesn’t know who she’s fuckin’ around with, but he senses she’s fuckin’ around. It just so happens that he’s right.
So the Private Investigator is hired to kill the two of them for $10,000. But instead of doing that, he fakes a photograph of their deaths and attempts to shoot Marty. And things just get crazier from there. I refuse to let on anything beyond that because I’d ruin most of the suspense (and there is a shit load).
What so beautiful about this movie is how nobody knows what anybody’s doing. They think they do, but they say all the wrong things and run into trouble because of it. The wrong gun is left in the wrong place. The wrong money is not taken. Everything just goes wrong. Everything just gets fucked up.
And maybe that’s a testament to Eastern Texans. Or maybe it’s just the type of people the Coen Brothers like to make movies about: people getting waist deep in shit when they can only really handle it up to the palms of their feet. It was the same thing with Fargo and Hudsucker Proxy (though that one turned out much better) and the Big Lebowski. People demand revenge but then forget why. It’s pretty awesome in that way.
And on top of the content being superb, I absolutely loved the cinematography. The way the camera moves in this movie is brilliant. It keeps the angles close and claustrophobic enough for one to wonder what’s around the corner. It hints enough that you almost know what’s coming.
It really is amazing that this was their first feature film. It’s very well done and it has all shades of Coen auteurity (sic) to come. Some people say that it comes off as a “video movie,” or a “Movie of the week” because of how straight forward the noir-plot is. But, at the same time, the Coens do as they usually do and take the basics and toss its salad until its barely recognizable.
Plus, it’s pretty goddam funny.