Home > Uncategorized > Movie Review: “Fargo”

Movie Review: “Fargo”

March 19, 2009

I’m seeing a lot more movies now that I have a cardio workout machine with a DVD player right in front of it.  Yesterday and today I started and finished “Fargo”, a dark, violent 1996 comedy about a kidnapping and several murders.*

A little filter here: if you like the radio program; “Prairie Home Companion”, you will probably enjoy Fargo, and the reverse is probably true as well.  The Minnesota characterizations are as familiar as if ol’ Garrison Keillor himself were narrating the film, which he isn’t.  The film is like being IN one of his stories, instead of just hearing it on the radio.

One thing I look for in a story is whether I care about any of the characters.  Right away I cared about Mr. Lundegaard, who is plotting with a couple lowlife characters to kidnap his wife and split the ransom money with him.  Not to say I wished him well, y’know, but I did care what happened to him.  He wasn’t so much unlikable as frustratingly, criminally stupid

And the two lowlife characters, well you just can’t help caring what happens to them, y’know.  Without worrying about spoilers (since I’m pretty sure that I am the last person in the world to see this film), it works out very satisfactorily.

There were two super-competent people in the movie; a very likable, pregnant detective, and a silent, lethal murderer whose stupendously idiotic and talkative accomplice was incredibly entertaining in his own right.

There are a few scary moments.  See, I couldn’t help caring about the lady detective when she goes tramping off through the snow through the woods against the murderer, carrying only her little service revolver.  He was the kind you couldn’t glance away from for an instant.

I loved the ending with the lady detective and her husband.  It made me want to buy a three-cent stamp.  Anyway, in the unlikely event you have not seen the film, and now that it has percolated down to the discount DVD racks, yard sales and video store clearances, I definitely recommend it.

*(When people recommend movies to me, sometimes I don’t get around to seeing them right away.  Same with books.  There’s no rhyme or reason to it.)

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. March 19, 2009 at 22:03 | #1

    Well at least you are getting around to seeing some of the greats.

    I have found exercising with a TV to be great. I figured out a way to balance myself on the elliptical and play my PS3 at the same time. Heck I can workout all day long when I have a PS3 to play in front of me.

  2. March 19, 2009 at 22:37 | #2

    (Your doctor in 50 years…) “I don’t understand it, mister Weber; you eat nothing but burgers and pizza, and you’re almost ninety years old, but according to this scan, your arteries are perfect!”

    Of course by then, it’s a PS30…

  3. Ray
    March 20, 2009 at 07:02 | #3

    Fargo is one of the movies I started to watch, then decided I didn’t like, and so never finished it (and I *do* enjoy PHC).

    Perhaps it is time to add it back to my list. I should probably add movies such as Gone With the Wind, too, while I’m at it!

  4. March 20, 2009 at 07:10 | #4

    Alas, I have never seen it, but I’m sure it would bring on the accent even worse.  When you’ve worked with a passel of people from Minnesota and lived with a person from Wisconsin for years, you lose your ability to properly pronounce the letter O.  Ja, you betcha.  Oofda!

    If I had a nickel for every time someone’s asked me if I’m from Canada, I’d have enough to buy Fargo by now.  I think you’ve rather convinced me that’s just what I need to do.  Now to find those folks and shake ‘em down for that nickel…

    Keep reviewing the movies.  They don’t have to be new releases – they’re new to you. And to those of us who, like you, are sometimes a few years late getting to the theater.  ;-)   You’re performing a valuable service, my lad – I would’ve missed out on an excellent Christian Bale film were it not for you!

  5. March 20, 2009 at 07:13 | #5

    Perhaps it is time to add it back to my list.

    I don’t usually return to a movie that I have bailed out on. 

    Harry Potter, for example.  Started watching the first one of those and I just couldn’t get into it.  And if I’d seen any of the 3 most recent Star Wars movies first, I’d never have seen the original 3.

  6. March 20, 2009 at 07:15 | #6

    Thanks Dana!  Wow, you get up Early.  It’s, what, 5:00 am in Washington?

  7. March 20, 2009 at 07:32 | #7

    Ah, jeez!

    I liked the movie.

  8. March 20, 2009 at 17:07 | #8

    I really like dis movie, doncha know.

  9. Ted
    March 24, 2009 at 05:02 | #9

    The Coen Brothers are pretty cool.

    I remember watching Blood Simple many a years ago and decided it’s one of the better noir movies ever. Up there with the black & white classics of old. And then there’s The Big Lebowski, their fractured re-take on “The Big Sleep”—ah, if only they can make a followup to that, I miss the Dude.

  10. Ted
  11. alex
    March 24, 2009 at 21:04 | #11

    this is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen.  It is a rare depiction of evil or crime as being essentially stupidity.  It takes all the glamor out of these things, amd the characters are totally believable and sometimes very funny.

  12. Deb
    April 2, 2009 at 17:30 | #12

    All I know is that I’ll never hear the sound of a “wood chipper” without flashing on an instant visual.. Geez. I loved the ordinary-ness of Frances McDormand (the lady detective) and her husband..and their love affair with food, buffets, and the like. The Coen’s are a talented, twisted dark humor combo pack. From Blood Simple to O, Brother..Raising Arizona, and Lebowski.. and many, many others..it’s not always pretty, and it’s not often kind-but the Coen’s characters always offer a dark amusement ride of human nature at it’s most fractured.

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