The Big Lebowski

November 22, 2009
By TheGothicGunslinger ELITE, Lakeland, Florida
TheGothicGunslinger ELITE, Lakeland, Florida
177 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
"To be great is to be misunderstood" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Coens have once again amazed me with their mixture of film genres, subtle psychological themes, and - for the first time - their hilarious sense of humor. This is, perhaps, one of the ultimate cult films out there, as any line of dialogue could be considered quote-worthy gold.

The film revolves around The Dude (aka Jeffrey Lebowski), a very likable and hilarious stoner/slacker, who lives a typical easy-going life with his friends Walter, a strong right-winger and Vietnam vet, and Donny, the quiet guy who doesn't ever really follow what's going on around him. Together, the trio competes in the epic sport of...bowling. However, The Dude's life is turned upside down when, one night after writing a check for a .69 carton of milk, two thugs come and beat him up in his own abode. As if that weren't bad enough, the thugs urinate on his rug, man! The Dude later learns from the would-be thieves that there's actually another Jeffrey Lebowski - a rich one of no relation to our stoner hero - that apparently owes a lot of money to a certain someone. Shenanigans ensue as the trio of friends get involved with a kidnapping plot that is much more complicated than meets the eye.

The comedy in this film is just absolutely hilarious. There isn't one character in this film that isn't funny in their own way. Even the narrator, played by Sam Elliot, is pretty funny in his small-ish role. if this were a typical comedy, casting Sam Elliot as a narrator would've been a horrible idea, leading to the very talented man being incredibly under and misused. (Looking at you, Ghost Rider) The humor is very stoner-ish, as should be noted for any going to see the movie. While the humor never goes into the point of becoming non-mainstream, one will stick get a kick out of it if they delve into that kind of humor (Wayne's World, SMBC-webcomics, etc.).

While the comedy is indeed hilarious, there are also a lot of subtle themes going on in the film. For instance, gender roles, spirituality, religious differences, and the criticism of nihilism are some of the subtle themes in the film. It is possible to enjoy the film without any of these psychological human studies themes, but I would think looking for and understanding these themes whilst watching The Big Lebowski makes the film twice as enjoyable and shines in the Coen brothers' style.

Another enjoyable aspect of the film is the 'realism' present. Many of the characters will speak half-sentences, correct themselves, and engage in multiple conversations, recreating the confusion of real-life. This theme of confusion is also prevalent in the movie, with no character in the film ever having a full understanding of what's going on.

There aren't too many complaints I really have against this film. The casting's fantastic, the timing and humor is great, and the subtle themes really make you love this cinematic beauty. I guess my only complaint is that, sadly, not everyone's going to understand/appreciate this film due to its stoner humor.

I'd normally finish a review with a jazzy finish, but Sam Elliot's closing narration perfectly sums up the movie:

"Well I guess that’s how the whole darned human comedy keeps perpetuatin’ itself, down through the generations, westward the wagons, across the sands of time … "

9/10 - Fantastic

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