“No Country for Old Men” subverts American Westerns

  No Country for Old Men is adapted from the 2005 novel of the same name by Cormac McCarthy. McCarthy is a leader in the American literary world today. He has published more than 20 outstanding works. He won the National Book Award and the National Book Critic Award for his novel “Horse” in 1992, and the highest award in the American press and publishing industry for his novel “The Road” in 2007— — Pulitzer Prize. Joel Cohen and Ethan Cohen brothers are famous American directors, screenwriters and producers. Their works are completed by two people together, so they are called “Coen brothers”. The Coen brothers made a sensation at the New York Film Festival and the French Deauville Film Festival with their debut film “Blood Labyrinth” in 1984, and were hailed as “movie prodigies of the new century” by the American film industry; in 1991, they directed the film “Barton” “Funk” won the Palme d’Or at the French Cannes Film Festival; in 2001, they began to hit the Oscars, and “The Absentee” was nominated for an Oscar. Among the various films the Coen brothers made, the only one without action films, so after reading McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men, they immediately decided to put it on the screen with an action film.
  No Country for Old Men is a crime drama. The story takes place in Texas in 1980. Drug dealers gather in a border town. Veteran Leveryn Moss picked up a suitcase containing more than two million dollars in cash at the scene of a suspected drug dealer while hunting. So he saw that money was open, and he owned the money. However, these ill-gotten gains became hot potatoes. There was a tracking device hidden in the money box, and he got into trouble from then on.
  The murderous drug lord Anton Shiger began to hunt down Moss, and Sheriff Tom Bell began to hunt for Shiger. At the same time, Shiger’s opponent, a group of Mexicans, also began to hunt for Shiger for money and goods. And Moss, then, a mysterious escape and pursuit pushed the story to a climax. In the end, Moss was suddenly killed by Mexican gunmen when he was about to meet his wife at the hotel. Shiger also broke his arm in the car accident and disappeared. Bell resigned because he failed to catch Shiger and complete the protection task.
  A war veteran who is greedy for money, a policeman who is strong in the outside world, and a murderous and perverted killer, “No Country for Old Men” has been rated as a classic of violent aesthetics by American critics with its gripping storyline and shocking bloody scenes, but the film’s The purpose is not to glorify violence or challenge the law, but to lament and indict the social reality of the wicked. Gone are the days of law-abiding, “people don’t call each other Mr. and Mrs.”, “money and drugs are more than anything else”, the voice-over at the beginning of the film and the dialogue between Sheriff Tom and another old Sheriff at the end, show that People’s despair and helplessness towards a society where even the law is powerless, safety and justice become empty talk.
  The title “No Country for Old Men” is taken from the first line of the poem “Sail to Byzantium” by Yeats, a famous Irish symbolist poet, which means that there is no country suitable for the elderly (the Chinese translation of “No Country for Old Men” is not accurate). Indeed, the values ​​held by the elderly represented by Sheriff Tom in the film are behind the times. Although they firmly believe that justice and care are the truths for the harmonious functioning of society and the necessary conditions for individual success, they are all regarded by a kind of ” The “bad trend” washed away, and that trend is greed, which increases with age. Because of greed, Moss picked up the money that should not be picked up, and he was thinking about how to keep the money forever, hiding in Tibet. When he was injured in the hotel and Shige shootout late at night, he wanted to ask three passersby for clothes to cover up the blood. When the other party asked him to pay again. The three young people knew that he might have suffered a car accident or other misfortune, but took the opportunity to extort money, which shows the power of this so-called “trend”. Interestingly, Shiger broke his arm in a car accident after he came out of Moss’s house. He also asked the two boys passing by for clothes to cover up the blood. One boy took off his shirt readily, although hesitant to accept the money, he said that the clothes Not worth so much money, after Shi Ge left, the two children had an argument over the money. The two shots are a stark contrast and echo—the young man Moss meets is older than the young man Shiger meets, so their greed is stronger. But as Tom’s uncle said, “The more you want to get back what belongs to you, the easier it is for you to lose other things”. However, the generation that upholds justice and cherishes possessions is slowly getting old. Although they resent this greedy society, they are powerless and unable to survive according to their own values ​​and moral standards. It is also no country, the title of the film. Puns, the multiplicity of themes and the depth of thought is what makes the film so successful.
  No Country for Old Men subverts the traditional mold of American Westerns, captivating audiences with unexpected plot twists. The fate of the two heroes of the West seems unpredictable as they fight their way. Westerns are the film and television carriers that best reflect American social culture. They have been favored since their appearance in 1903. Traditional Westerns are often positioned in the era of the western development of the United States in the second half of the 19th century. , the conflict between police and gangsters, cowboys and gangsters to show personal heroism and liberalism, reflecting a positive and enterprising spirit, later so-called “psychological westerns” such as “Dances with Wolves”, “Unforgivable” have The anti-hero wins, but the protagonist is still a “big man”, and they are all involved in the conflict because of active desire, and the result is that justice will win. And “No Country for Old Men” sets the time in the second half of the 20th century when the western society of the United States was quite developed. The protagonist is an ordinary veteran, which makes the protagonist of the western movie from “big guy” to “little guy”, and Moss because he has no intention of picking up money The struggle after being drawn into the conflict is also unprecedented in previous Westerns; Moss and Shiger’s gladiatorial defeat seems to reflect the heroism of this “little man”, but Moss is about to succeed. He was killed suddenly, which reversed the ending; moreover, the real justice side Sheriff Tom tracked Shi Ge all the way but failed, and the heinous Shi Ge finally got away with it. What is even more terrifying is Tom’s retirement and Shi Ge’s self-healing medical skills (Sig. After being wounded by Moss, he went to the pharmacy to get medicine for his own injuries), which heralded the demise of justice and the coming of evil, leaving a heavy suspense to the audience, which is unmatched by all previous successful westerns.
  ”The Coen brothers mercilessly oppressed the audience with suspense and tension, forcing people to carefully examine the deep hole they had dug.” As “Rolling Stone” magazine commented, “No Country for Old Men” shows this kind of unpredictability. . Moss has been uneasy about the future since the night he picked up the money, leaving audiences with various speculations about his fate, but it is difficult to imagine that he will suddenly die under the guns of a gang of Mexicans. The owner of the gas station was entangled by Shi Ge for saying one more sentence, until he was forced to guess coins and bet his life and death. The tense atmosphere made people hold their breath. The silence between Shiger and Moss before the confrontation across the door seems to be testing the audience’s psychological endurance. In particular, Shi Ge’s every move, unhurried but mysterious, makes people feel that the violence is everywhere and unstoppable, coupled with the victim’s expression of fear after there is no way to escape, it deeply touches the audience. emotional abyss. In addition, at the end of the play, after Shige finished everything, he drove away peacefully, and suddenly there was a loud noise, and a car hit the middle. The loudness and suddenness of the crash made people tremble, but after the crash, there was no fighting, only The injured Shige staggered out of the car, leaving another huge shock and suspense.
  In Joel Cohen’s words, No Country for Old Men was “the most violent movie they’ve ever made,” but there were plenty of humorous shots to stay true to the original. The first is the look of the killer Shiger. The most perverted hairstyle is said to be designed by the Coen brothers with reference to the image of the brothel owner in an old photo in 1890; Shiger’s behavior when killing people on the side of the road is even more impressive. Funny, first smiled and asked the unexplained victim “can you stay still”, then picked up a pillar with a leather tube attached to an oxygen cylinder-like thing and shot the opponent in the forehead, this strange weapon was later captured. It was confirmed that it was a silent high-pressure air gun used in the slaughterhouse at that time to prevent the livestock from being frightened. Another funny scene is Moss being chased by dogs in the river. The killers have guns and cars but let the dogs chase people, which is full of ridicule.
  ”No Country For Old Men” won four awards this year, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor. The film uses a perfectly matched cast. Whether it is Tommy Lee Jones who plays Sheriff Tom, or Josh Brolin who plays Moss, they are all admirers of the original author McCarthy, and have been familiar with the book. , and Jones won two awards for Best Screenplay and Best Actor at the 58th Cannes Film Festival in 2005 with his debut feature “The Three Funerals of Escada”. Javier Bardem, who plays Shiger, is a big-name Spanish actor. Although he has not read the original book, the Venetian actor who can play all kinds of roles with a wide range of life is confident that the film will be a masterpiece after reading the script. , and the best supporting actor award this time fully proved his strength. In addition, the Coen brothers had a good understanding of the US-Mexico border when they made their first film “Blood Labyrinth”, which laid the foundation for the success of “No Country for Old Men”.